The NEWSED Community Development Corporation has impacted the Denver area for over 40 years. It has worked to develop shopping areas, support minority and neighborhood businesses, increase home ownership and other community outreach.
Each year the organization hosts its “Civil Rights Awards,” and the event returns on Sept. 20 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Denver Center for the Performance Arts. It is the 27th year the awards have been held, and this year’s focus revolves around honoring leaders in education.
This year’s honorees include La Academia, a 47-year old private school of the Denver Inner City Parish, Dr. Lorenzo Trujillo, an attorney at law and a professor of music at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Congresswoman Diana Degette, The Greater Denver Ministerial Alliance, a social justice advocacy organization, Michelle Sie Whitten, President, CEO and co-founder of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and Dr. Martha Urioste, an educator and community leader.
“The civil rights movement has never gone away. We’re still in some of the same predicaments we were in 40 years ago in terms of fairness to people of color. We need to keep carrying on this movement. This movement is one of the most important in the country, given the type of leadership that we have in the country,” Veronica Barela said. Barela is the former president and CEO of NEWSED.
The Civil Rights Awards will spend the evening at the Denver Center for the Performance Arts sharing inspiring stories and honoring the award recipients for their work in human rights and dignity. Tickets can be purchased from the NEWSED website under the events tab. Single seat tickets can be purchased at a price of $150 while tables for ten people can be purchased at $1,500.
The event is cocktail attire, and there will be a wine and beer open bar. The event is sponsored by Arc Thrift Stores, Denver International Airport, Alvarado Development, Dawn Bookhardt, CHFA, Great Hall Builders, Great Hall Partners, The Sawaya Law Firm and others.
The Civil Rights Awards honor those who have truly impacted the Denver community. These people and organizations have strived to create social justice through their line of work and advocacy.
“Folks in (the field of education) are really leaders in this movement. Dr. Martha started a Montessori school in Denver Public Schools. Trujillo is a real leader in our city. The Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance has always been the leader in civil rights in Denver. We have a really good lineup of folks,” Barela said.