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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Contact the DEI Team

Colorful Hands LWV Diversity

Our goal is to foster a consistent focus and support to our members and teams to integrate the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their work.

  • Our vision is that we contribute to a more effective democracy by cultivating a membership that reflects the diversity of our community,
  • by taking actions that meet the diverse needs of our community and
  • by building relationships with organizations which will enlarge civic engagement among diverse populations.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Larimer League DEI Policy

LWV-Larimer County is an organization fully committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.

There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.

How to Use A DEI Lens

A DEI lens is a way of examining a program, a process, a product, etc., with regards to how it is perceived by a variety of communities, voices, and perspectives, and what, if any, barriers may exist that is preventing it from being equitable or inclusive of everyone.

What To Ask When Examining Your Work Through a DEI Lens

  • Who is involved in the process?
  • Are key stakeholders meaningfully included?
  • Is this work that impacts a group or community? If so, is their voice represented?
  • How diverse is the group of decision makers? Is it diverse enough?
  • Who will be impacted?
  • Who benefits from this?
  • Who is burdened by this?
  • Does this help us meet the needs of underserved voters?
  • Have we considered various, specific marginalized groups and how they might be impacted?
  • What are the intended and unintended outcomes?
  • What issue are we trying to solve?
  • What do we hope will happen?
  • What are the potential negative impacts? Who could be hurt by this?
  • What data or evidence supports this?
  • How might this be perceived by others?
  • Does this align with our vision for an equitable and inclusive organization?
  • How is equity addressed?
  • What barriers might this place in the way of achieving equity?
  • How does this impact the League’s culture?
  • What changes could be made to make this more equitable?
  • What are the short term goals?
  • What are the long term goals?
  • What, if any, policies or bylaws need to be added or amended?
  • What are the benefits for members?
  • What are the benefits for partners and/or members of the community?


"What is equity?

In the simplest terms, it means fairness, which is not necessarily the same thing as equality.

“It’s about everybody getting what they need in order to improve the quality of their situation.”

Used with permission “Interaction Institute for Social Change, Artist: Angus Maguire. Interaction Institute and

Interaction Institute for Social Change and Cynthia Silva Parker


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Why Do Pronouns Matter So Much?
Why Do Pronouns Matter So Much?

Is it "themself" or "themselves"? What is "ze/zir?" If you're an ally asking yourself these questions, we've got you covered! To learn more about pronouns and expand your allyship knowledge, check out our Straight for Equality "Pronouns and Why They Matter" handout .

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How to Respect My Ethnic Name
How to Respect My Ethnic Name

Learn the ins and outs, the do's and do nots, of speaking with someone whose name may not be at all familiar to you. It's easy, once you know these tips. You can watch the video on YouTube, or view and even download the PDF file (you have Mr. London's permission as long as you credit him.)

How To Respect My Ethnic Name by Anpu London (PDF)

How To Respect My Ethnic Name on YouTube 

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This webinar discusses gender identity including terminology, the history of gender identity, and how it relates to League work. To watch the webinar, Click Here

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We Have Work to Do: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Identity, History, and Stories
We Have Work to Do: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Identity, History, and Stories

Poudre River Library District has prepared a list of books that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Read their blog HERE

From the blog:

"Now is the time for the community to work on bringing about change in society for our LGBTQ+ friends and family and for ourselves. It starts with listening and learning, with eliminating hate and the “othering” of people, and seeking compassion and acceptance.

We have work to do. And that work can’t just be confined to Pride Month. It goes beyond parades and placards. It’s more than politics.

It is humanity. It is love.

Poudre Libraries urges everyone to listen and learn from those who have stories to share. You can start with one of these recommended books or films covering a variety of topics and genres (listed by age). 

Additionally, two members of Poudre Libraries staff organized a community resource guide for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Find or download the PDF by following the link above."

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To Overcome Resistance to DEI, Understand What’s Driving It
To Overcome Resistance to DEI, Understand What’s Driving It

Harvard Business Review 


To Overcome Resistance to DEI, Understand What’s Driving It

by Eric Shuman, Eric Knowles, and Amit Goldenberg

March 01, 2023


Mark Harris

Summary.  Employees often resist DEI initiatives, which of course hinders their effectiveness. The authors — experts in the resistance to...more

In recent years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Many people have eagerly embraced these efforts, but some have criticized and resisted them, including Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who recently announced plans to block state colleges from having DEI programs at all.


This sort of external resistance to DEI initiatives tends to dominate the headlines — but at many organizations, there’s also significant internal resistance to DEI initiatives that leaders need to overcome.



We’ve done extensive research on why people resist social-change efforts and on strategies to overcome that resistance. If you want to make your efforts more effective, we’ve found, the key is to understand why people resist them. This applies to DEI initiatives, which engender several different forms of resistance, each of which demands a different strategic response.


In this article, drawing on some of our recent psychological research, we’ll identify those different forms of resistance and explain what psychological threats drive these modes of resistance. We’ll also offer guidance for framing your efforts in ways that will help you overcome that resistance.


Psychological Threats

DEI initiatives often involve significant organizational changes and thus can elicit threat and concern, particularly from members of majority groups, who have traditionally benefitted from being in the majority and may feel that their organizational status or resources are threatened. This is what’s known as “status threat,” and the people who experience it often perceive diversity initiatives in zero-sum terms. They assume that if members of minority groups make any gains — in opportunities, hires, the potential for promotion — members of the majority group will necessarily incur losses.


Some group members may also fear that DEI initiatives imply that their achievements are not the result of their skills and qualities but rather their group membership. We call this “merit threat,” in which advantaged-group members feel that recognizing the existence of bias, discrimination, and inequality “explains away” their own successes. Merit threat is especially common among majority group members who are strongly committed to value systems that prize hard work and individual merit. It’s also common when a DEI initiative has strong implications for decisions that are usually seen as recognitions of merit, such as promotion.


Finally, majority group members can sometimes experience “moral threat.” This is the sense that if you acknowledge your privilege, you tarnish your moral image by linking yourself to an unfair system. This is most common when majority group members are generally committed to the moral ideal of equality. Because people are fundamentally motivated to see themselves as good and moral, those committed to the ideal of equality may experience threat when a DEI initiative highlights how their group has violated this moral principle.


When majority group members experience one or more of these threats, they respond with three primary forms of resistance.



When members of majority groups feel that their status is threatened, they may try to defend (or justify) the current status quo by seeking to legitimize it. Defending the status quo can prevent changes that might be perceived as harmful to their group. For example, at Google, an employee reacted to a DEI training by writing a memo in which he argued that gender gaps in the tech sector were not the result of discrimination but rather “non-bias causes.” Among the reasons he specified were gender differences in prenatal exposure to testosterone, differing interest in people versus things, and levels of extraversion and neuroticism. The memo is a classic example of defending, in that it argues that existing inequalities are legitimate because they are based in supposed biological differences.


Organizational leaders should work to reduce status threat before trying to counter defending with evidence of inequity; otherwise, such evidence will likely be met with further resistance. To address status threat, it’s important to draw attention to the “win-win” aspects of DEI initiatives, particularly how increased diversity can drive long-term growth in the business and increase opportunities for everyone (often referred to as the “business case” for diversity). While some research suggests that business justifications can have problematic effects when incorporated into normative organizational statements, they can nonetheless be useful specifically in addressing status threat by helping shift people out of a zero-sum mindset. In addition, some DEI policies can be framed as working to value the perspectives and experiences of all groups. These inclusive multiculturalism policies, which include the majority group, can help majority-group members feel that their group’s values and interests are not being neglected.



Some people resist DEI initiatives by downplaying inequality or bias, or even denying that they exist at all. “I don’t understand why we need to attend these sessions,” one employee wrote in a feedback survey after a diversity training at L’Oreal, “because we’re not discriminating against any employees to begin with.” Denying is usually elicited when members of majority groups experience both status threat and merit threat.


Because denying is driven both by status threat and merit threat, it is important to address both. For status threat, as we noted above, the key is to reduce perceptions of DEI as a zero-sum game. Addressing merit threat, however, calls for an additional strategy: self-affirmation, in which people are invited to reflect on a personally important trait, value, or achievement, why it is important to them, and how it is expressed in their life. For example, someone who especially values loyalty and friendship might think about a time when they made a personal sacrifice to help a friend.


Self-affirmation has been shown to bolster positive self-esteem, allowing people to accept information they might otherwise find threatening. In the DEI context, self-affirmation can make it easier for deniers to accept evidence of ongoing discrimination. When we encounter someone who denies, our initial impulse might be to present them with overwhelming evidence of inequality, but engaging in affirmation first can help open people up to this information. So instead of beginning a meeting about the need for diversity training by providing statistics about the severity of the problem, consider first engaging people in an exercise allowing them to reflect and affirm themselves, or highlighting positives about the organization and its employees that provide this sense of affirmation. Only then move to discussing the problem that needs to be addressed.



In some cases, members of advantaged groups are willing to acknowledge that there is discrimination and inequality, but they distance themselves from it personally, by arguing that they themselves are unbiased and have never benefited from discrimination. People who engaging in distancing, which is driven by both merit threat and moral threat, often prefer to think in individual terms and work to disconnect themselves from groups, thus insulating themselves from accusations that they have benefitted from bias or privilege. For example, Spencer Owens & Co. thought they had made progress on diversity issues, because majority-group members at the organization increasingly made remarks such as “I don’t see people in color” and “We are all human beings here.” However, an inciting incident and subsequent company-wide survey revealed significant racial tensions, driven in part by frustration from minority-group members about majority-group members’ refusal to acknowledge how race affected their views and work.


Because distancing is driven in part by merit threat, the self-affirmation strategy can be useful when trying to overcome it. The best strategy to use to counter moral threat, however, is to redirect it, by reframing DEI initiatives as a way for people to express their moral ideals and thus repair their moral standing. For example, researchers have found that when DEI initiatives are framed as a way to express universal ideals (fairness, equality, and so on) rather than as an obligation that majority-group members must live up to, this increases support for DEI programs. So consider highlighting how DEI efforts present an opportunity for majority-group members to demonstrate their commitment to universal moral principles, and in doing so ensure that they are not automatically associated with discrimination and privilege.


. . .

Majority-group members who resist DEI efforts typically do so because they experience those efforts as threatening. To overcome their resistance, you first need to determine what kinds of threat they’re experiencing (the most common forms being status threat, merit threat, and moral threat), and then what kinds of resistance they’re putting up in response (the most common forms being denying, defending, and distancing). By understanding these dynamics, and by employing the targeted strategies we’ve described for overcoming these different kinds of resistance, you’ll have an easier time advancing DEI efforts in your organization.



Eric Shuman is a post-doctoral fellow at both New York University and Harvard Business School. He investigates the psychological roots of resistance to social change among members of historically advantaged groups, and how collective-action efforts can overcome that resistance. To learn more about his research, you can find him on Twitter at @EricMShuman.


Eric Knowles is an associate professor of psychology at New York University. He investigates the psychological roots of political attitudes, in particular how various group identities and the status associated with them can shape political beliefs and behaviors. To learn more about his research you can find him on Twitter at @eric_knowles or visit his website.

Amit Goldenberg is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on what makes people emotional in social and group contexts, and how such emotions can be changed when they are unhelpful or undesired. To learn more about his research you can find him on Twitter at @Amit_Goldenb or visit his website.

Team Work!

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Key Accomplishments
Key Accomplishments

·      Key Team Leaders have integrated DEI Principles into their activities. Must continue based on requirements and leadership from the Admin Team.

·      Many of our teams have had DEI informed meetings and activities. DEI principles have been utilized by Healthcare, Leadership, Membership, Affordable Housing, SLDG, Book Club, Admin Teams and others.

·      Voter Service was a longtime leader on this before any formal DEI effort and continues to be.

·      DEI Webpage on LLWV shares resources. We could participate in adding to this page.

·      DEI was added to the core values and goals by the Admin Team.

·      DEI was added to new member inf. Perhaps DEI Training could be added for new members.

·      State LWV improved DEI responses and other Colorado Leagues have participated in our programs and conversations.

·      DEI had meetings and collaboration with Queen Johnson’s church and participated in training from her non-profit.

·      Pat Griego’s continued outreach to Latinx supports LLWV’s DEI profile.

·      General awareness has increased in our league with respect to diversity, inclusion, and the difference between equity and equality.

·      Our team outreach to City of Fort Collins, CSU, and Thompson Valley School District to has increased recognition and collaboration possibilities.

·      DEI became a team 6-2021

·      Selected DEI Dialogs and Activities Both Local and National

·      DEI Principles Training

·      Consultation with Fleurette King from CSU

·      Intersectionality Dialog

·      LLWV Leadership Conversation – DEI Motivation

·      Implicit Bias/White Privilege Presentation

·      Gender Identity Webinar

·      Panel Discussion with 3 Non-Binary Trans Panelists

·      LWVUS webinars and DEI trainings

·      DEI Lens for Meetings Webinar

·      Meeting and presentation CSU Student Government

·      Discussion with “Hola Papi” author JD Bremmer

·      Presentation from CSU DEI Trainer

·      Inclusion Dialog from Larimer County ADA Specialist

·      City of Fort Collins Equity Officer Presentation

·      Represented LLC at Michigan DEI Panel

·      Meeting with Sharon Davis for COLWV input 


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2024 Outreach
2024 Outreach


Martin Luther King, Jr Event sponsored by the City of Fort Collins and CSU. Cindy hosted Issues Teams and Pat Burger & Linda Thomas Voter Services (1/15/24).

Cindy attended BiPOC Alliance Government Accountability Meeting. County Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally presented on the judicial system within county government (1/22/24).



A DEIJ event hosted by the City of Fort Collins and the Human Rights Commission of Fort Collins. Organizations shared their role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (2/04/24).

Began coordinating with Professor Christopher Celaya, CSU College of Liberal Arts for the League participation in a Democracy Expo April 12, 2024.

The Pollinator Habitat Group of the Environmental Action Team hosted the League General Meeting. Guest Speaker Camille Dungy, Author & CSU Professor. Read from her book Soil: A Story of a Black Mother’s Garden. It was a hybrid meeting with 140 in person attendees and 70 joining us virtually (2/12/24).



Meeting with Ann Keith, for Website DEI webpage support (3/6/24).

The Pollinator Habitat Group of the Environmental Action hosted Indigenous leader Melody Daugherty from Manitou Springs, CO Pollinators (3/12/24).

Cindy attended the first DEIJ Community Partnership Meeting hosted by Keiko Friar, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Manager of the Early Childhood Council of Larimer County. The idea came from the February 4th Event. The idea of forming an ongoing partnership with organizations to support and facilitate DEIJ programming within their organizations (3/19/24).  

Cindy attended the Transgender 101 Workshop: A Community Education Workshop sponsored by PFLAG Fort Collins and Intercultural Community Builders (3/30/24).

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2023 Outreach
2023 Outreach


Developed an Observer Corp Outreach list.

Attended Rocky Mtn High School Debate Tournament & Student Congress – Jane, Cindy & Annette



Documentary “This is Not Who We Are” Boulder, Colorado. Panel discussion


BiPoc Alliance and Fort Collins Cultural Enrichment Center

Being Me in Fort Collins. The Human Library, Unjudged someone.

Observer Corp Outreach: BIPOC Alliance, ISSAC of Northern Colorado (Pat Griego & Jesus Castro), New Eyes Village, City of Fort Collins Diversity and Inclusion Officer.

Java & Justice Series, Professor Kyle Whyte on “Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice, CSU.

Women’s History in Fort Collins Tabling Event - Jane & Cindy


Earth Day Fort Collins Tabling Event hosted by E.A.T. Multiple Volunteers.

Meeting with BIPOC Executive Director, Rahshida Perez, and Program Director, Jamie Rasmussen to collaborate on the Observer Corp & continue building of Partnership – meeting facilitated by Sonia Koetting

Safe Zone: Community Providers, hosted by CSU Pride Resource Center and CSU School of Social Work. Safe Zone’s aim is to reduce homophobia, trans Phobia and cisheterosexism in our community, therefore making Northern Colorado is a safer environment for all its members. (4/29/23)

Crossroads Safehouse event at the Museum of Art Fort Collins (4/29/23)


Cindy attended “Stories of Resilience” Trans Youth and Their Families.

Webinar on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, hosted by the League the League of Women Voters Wyoming.

Outreach Table at IBMC College by Cindy representing Issues Teams and Voter Registration. Carol Gertsch, Cindy, and ?

Cindy attended BiPOC Alliance Government Accountability Meeting. Pat Griego is also a member of this group.


Outreach includes the Pollinator Habitat Group participating in the City of Fort Collins Xeriscape Garden Party.


Pridefest 2023 at Fort Collins Civic Center Park sponsored by Northern Colorado Equality. Tabled on Issues Teams and Voter Registration. Multi league volunteers.


Poudre Riverfest Celebration at New Belgium Brewing. Tabled on Environmental Issues and Voter registration.


Attended CD2 House Representative Joe Neguse listening session (9/01/23)

Tabled at Northern Colorado Climate Meet Up. Pat Burger, Mary Carraher, Nancy Garcie and Cindy Linafelter were in attendance (9/16/23)

Attended Governor Polis Listening Session held at CSU. Cindy Linafelter and Karen Artell were in attendance. (9/28/23)


Presentation by Judge Jeffery Viken, Federal Judge Serving Western South Dakota including the Pineridge Reservation. Hosted by Beth DeHaven’s Church Social Justice Group (10/02/23)

Microaggressions Workshop hosted by the City of Fort Collins Human Relations Commission. Speaker – Dr Coronda Ziegler. Cindy Linafelter, Sue Taigman, and Nancy Garcie were in attendance (10/05/23)

Meet with Kevin Stearns to discuss gaining the support of a younger membership (10/09/23)

Attended BiPoc Alliance Government Accountability Meeting (10/16/23)

Zoom engagement – How to Be an Anti-racist Organization with Dwinita Mosby Tyler, Equity Project and Tariana Navas-Nieves, Denver Arts & Venue (10/25/23)

Attended CSU Transgender Panel with panelist Colorado House Representative 27th District & Transgender Woman Brianna Titone and Reporter Erin Reed (10/25/23) 


The Pollinator Habitat Group participated and Tabled in a Seed Swap at the Gardens of Spring Creek. Cindy, Shirley White, Peg LaPoint and Linda Wilkens tabled. 

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2022 Outreach
2022 Outreach


Queens Legacy Empowerment & Mentoring Program – Cindy, Jane, Jorie, Mark 


Met with Artist Louise Cutler who brought A Culture Preserved in the Black Experience – Cindy, Sue, Vonne, Linda M.


CSU School of Global Environmental Sustainability, Justice & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Event at Lee Martinez Park with Black Business Owners. Cindy volunteered at the event.



de Los Muertos Fort Collins Celebration – several members attended.


CSU The Symposium for Inclusive Excellence. Documentary “I Don’t See You There”. Panel discussion on living with disabilities. Cindy & Linda M.


Melody Daugherty, Indigenous Elder presented to the E.A.T. Pollinator Habitat Group on the importance of our biodiversity.



Sent out LWVUS Survey on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 


President of LWVLC releases statement on the shootings at Club Q, Colorado Springs



Collated and submitted Survey findings to League President 


The DEI process is a journey - one that includes learning, growing, changing, experiencing new perspectives. Webinars and books make excellent tools for furthering your individual learning surrounding DEI. Here are a few of our suggestions. Check back as occasionally, these resources will change.

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Hola Papi! How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons, by John Paul Brammer

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Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden, by Camille T. Dungy

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White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism and How to Do Better, by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao

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All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir Manifesto, by George M. Johnson

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Braiding Sweetgrass: Indegenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

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The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living, by Joseph M. Marshall III

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He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why it Matters, by Schuyler Bailar He/Him/His

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The Color of Water: A Black Mans Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride

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And Still Peace Did Not Come: A Memoir of Reconcilliation, by Agnes Fllah Kamara-Umanna and Emily Holland

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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai

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Caste The Origins of Our Discontent

The history of racism is important to know if we're going to overcome its effects on our culture and society. This powerful and moving book will guide you.

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How To Be An Anti-Racist

What if you think you don't see color when you look at a person? Kendi will make you re-think that position.

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White Fragility

Racists are evil people, right? That's one of the pitfalls when discussing racism. Learn about it and many others with this book.


Outreach Activity Photos
  • Roe v Wade Overturned Rally, Fort Collins, June 2022
  • LWVLC board members sign paperwork for Non-Profit status
  • Women's History Day event at Discovery Museum, Fort Collins
  • Observer Corps Training
  • IBMC College Fair
  • Gun Reform presentation at LWVLC Leadership meeting
  • Fort Collins Pridefest 2023
  • Riverfest 2023, Fort Collins
  • Dia de los Muertos, Fort Collins
  • Martin Luther King Jr Day, Fort Collins. Registering Voters
  • February 2024 General Meeting. Fort Collins author Camille Dungy discusses her book Soil