Vanessa 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 and you can read her speech given on May 31, 2019 at the “Project VOYCE’s Newest Voice – PV ED Reveal Party” here.
Roshan Bliss 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
alma urbano torres
Born in Puebla, Mexico, Alma immigrated to Northeast Denver, Colorado at the age of ten and has since called Swansea her home. Alma is a Denver East High School alumna, and she has just returned home after receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Kenyon College in 2018. While in college, she mentored younger students while being actively engaged in the only Latinx Student Association in her area. As a scholar, she was recently published in The American Middle Class Encyclopedia (2017) for her academic work concerning Sexual Harassment.
Her own experiences as a young immigrant woman of color in a gentrifying neighborhood have inspired much of interest in youth activism as it relates to the American education system. As a former trainee of Project VOYCE and a Youth Block Captain, she has also learned to value her own narrative in addressing issues of health and immigration in her own community. Now and in the future, she hopes to continue her work capturing, valuing, and empowering the younger voices of Denver, Colorado as many of their communities continue to evolve. You can reach Alma at email@example.com
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. While in college, Briannah spent four years being a Resident Advisor for a Living Learning Community dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community. They also 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.
Bri served as a GLAAD Campus Ambassador for two years, providing advocacy and true representation for the LGBTQIA+ community. In addition, they presented multiple sessions at CU Boulder’s Transforming Gender Conference, both in 2018 and 2019. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org