Vanessa Roberts (she, her, hers) first fell for the mission, vision, and people of Project VOYCE in the Spring of 2016 when she was brought in as part of a team of scholars charged with revitalizing the summer VOYCE Academy curriculum. Vanessa was also trusted to serve as the lead facilitator for the new curriculum that summer and as most PV students and staff will tell you, she just never left! She is thrilled to now take on the role of Executive Director, focusing on staff development, organizational capacity-building, resource development, program development, internal operations, and grant writing. Vanessa earned her BA from Colorado College and a MA in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of Art at NYU and is a current doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her academic concentrations are race & ethnicity, cultural sociology, and youth development. In addition, she serves as a co-leader of the Innovative Research Action Group, an initiative launched by Create Justice and Carnegie Hall dedicated to leveraging research as a means for supporting arts intervention programs for system-impacted youth.
She can be reached at email@example.com
Roshan Bliss (he, him, his) is a community organizer, inclusiveness trainer, and mediator who has lived in Denver since 2010. He originally came to Colorado to pursue graduate studies in conflict resolution, but a racially exclusive campus climate and his soaring student debt burden ultimately pushed him out of the university and into social justice. His negative experiences in schooling led him to spend several years as a student organizer building the CO Student Power Alliance and to co-founding the Student Voice, Student Vote coalition to win 16-year-olds the right to vote in school board elections. Since then, Roshan has also been an active part of several national and international movements, including the international student movement and the Black Lives Matter movement, and he has become a local leader in police accountability and criminal justice reform in his role as a co founder of the Denver Justice Project. He is excited to bring his experience in social justice movements and his passion for empowering young people and democratizing education to the work of Project VOYCE.
Roshan holds a BA in Philosophy & Religious Studies from Purdue University and his graduate studies in conflict resolution at the University of Denver focused on civic theory, participatory democracy, and public deliberation. In past professional roles, Roshan spent several years serving as the Youth Engagement Coordinator for the
National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, a national network for professionals in dialogue & democratic engagement, and most recently served as the criminal justice organizer for Together Colorado, a progressive, multi-faith community organizing institution. Roshan loves good political conversation, the power of people, and sunsets, and he hates the sound of styrofoam squeaking against itself. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Civic Engagement and Fundraising Lead
Tezcatli Diaz (she, her, hers) is a community organizer and is experienced in legislative processes and campaign building. She served as a legislative aide to Representative Joseph Salazar at the Colorado House of Representatives and has supported many local and statewide campaigns rooted in social and environmental justice. Tezcatli also worked with youth and volunteers as a Membership Manager at the Girl Scouts Councils of Colorado and Greater Chicago & Northwest Indiana. With the combined passions of youth leadership facilitation and policy-oriented organizing, Tezcatli hopes to contribute to the Project VOYCE mission to elevate youth voice and leadership through accomplice-ship. Tezcatli can be reached at email@example.com
alma urbano torres
Alma Urbano Torres (she, her, hers) is an emerging leader and educator serving as Program Manager at Project VOYCE. She joined the Project VOYCE team after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Kenyon College in Ohio in 2018. She herself is an alumna of the Project VOYCE programing where she learned to value her own narrative while addressing issues of health and environment in her community. In addition to managing various programming aspects of Project VOYCE, Alma is an active community advocate and partner representative of the Globeville Elyria-Swansea Coalition.
A Mexican immigrant and current DACA-holder, Alma is thankful to her Northeast Denver community who has loved and supported her family since they first arrived in 2006. Growing up in Denver as a young immigrant and woman of color is also what sparked her own interest in youth organizing. Now, and in the future, she hopes to continue her work empowering and partnering with the younger voices of Denver, Colorado to create real lasting change. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Briannah Hill (they, them, their) serves as Project VOYCE’s Program Assistant and in-house Graphic Designer. Born and raised in the Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, Briannah Hill has been a local activist, educator, and mentee to the Colorado community for the majority of their life. Bri identifies as a Blaqueer, Nonbinary person of good heart. They are a graduate of Denver George Washington High School, and received a BA in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2019. They have an ongoing commitment to working very closely with the Queer Trans Community of Color, and strengthening their skills as a radical leader in the movement for Black Lives.
They are excited to bring experiences in looking beyond the margins for answers to strengthen social justice practices. And they are eager to see the possibilities that youth have to empower themselves and become intellectuals. When Bri isn’t doing something that takes up their time, they enjoy plants way more than their wallet can afford, performing poetry/spoken word, listening to music, and honoring their ancestors everyday.
You can reach Bri at email@example.com
Ashton Kynard (he, him, his) is a program facilitator, youth mentor, community activist, history teacher, and social media curator. He is native of Aurora, Colorado and graduate of Gateway High School. Ashton first came to Project VOYCE as a participant of our Summer VOYCE Academy in 2017, he became a Facilitator Apprentice in 2018 and now serves as a Program Facilitator, building up and assisting Project Voyce's youth facilitation team in running the Summer Academy and Year-Long Programming. Ashton is fully committed to uplifting and educating our communities of color. Ashton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerrie Joy (she, her, hers) is an artist, educator, and entrepreneur. Born in Brooklyn and raised on a church pew in Newburgh, NY, Kerrie brings her east coast flare and fervency to the stage for every single performance. The truth of her words and the power of her delivery have been said to lift her listeners out of their seats. It is that same magic that has brought her to stages such as the Red Rocks Amphitheater, TEDx MileHigh, the 2018 Denver Womxn's March and MLK Marade, and many more. Kerrie channels her creativity through poetry, hip hop, song, short story, graphic design, and fashion. Reveling in her awkward nature, Kerrie also brings a conscious vulnerability and a learned confidence to the classroom where she challenges her students to journey to their truest, and most powerful, selves.
Kerrie also believes that artists play a special role in preserving culture and telling the stories of marginalized groups in a way that demands meaningful change. As creatives, we build the world that we deserve. Through this lens, she is currently facilitating ongoing workshops with Project VOYCE, the Tennyson Center for Children, and self-advocacy groups at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Savion Harris, (he, him, his) a thought provoker, communicator, and leader is familiar to the reality of being a misrepresented student within K-12 Education. Being involved in grassroots organizations, Savion saw the lack of unity between youth and adults to create a system of shared leadership. His passion for unifying youth and adults has led him to be one of three students to sit on the innovation board at Aurora Central High School. During his junior year, Savion was responsible for providing feedback to future implementations, that would refocus the school atmosphere and reactivate student engagement. Currently, Savion serves as the Executive Assistant for Project VOYCE. He is excited to continue the work of unifying, igniting, and developing the community of youth and families to tap into their unlimited potential. When Savion is not at Project VOYCE, you can find him reading books, creating music, and active in church ministry. You can reach Savion at email@example.com
Astrid Flores (she, her, hers) is a current student at the University of Colorado Denver majoring in Political Science with a Pre-health Track, as a way to combine her love for both activism and biomedical science. Her political activism career began as a young participant in the summer VOYCE Academy of 2017 where she learned to be a social change agent and has since gone to work with various non-profit organizations to continue to fight for reproductive and social justice. Today she holds the position of Stakeholder Manager at Project Voyce to ensure a smooth on-boarding process and management of Project VOYCE interns, volunteers, and donors. She is very grateful to be apart of a movement to empower youth to be youth activists because from personal experience she knows that youth are the most directly affected by bad policy and are often the most ignored. Astrid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org