co-founder & co-executive director
Candi CdeBaca is Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Project VOYCE, Reviver & Member of Cross Community Coalition and Founder & Principal of Rebel Soul Strategies. She is a community advocate in her home community of Northeast Denver. She has been featured as an influential leader and advocate by several publications and outlets including Politico, Fortune, Forbes, New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, 5280 Magazine, Planetizen and Canadian Broadcast Corporation. She has also authored and co-authored publications featured in the Denver Post, Nonprofit Quarterly and Equity Alliance. She is a fierce advocate for equity. CdeBaca has an unwavering commitment to ensuring increased participation of underrepresented groups in the political process and in leadership and decision-making roles across sectors.
Brea first joined Project VOYCE as an AmeriCorps VISTA partner, and currently holds the role of Co-Executive Director, focusing on resource development, grant writing, organizational capacity-building, team support, internal operations, and administration. Brea grew up in Minnesota and received her Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing with minor in Sociology from James Madison University. Brea’s passion for social justice led her to join Chinook Fund’s grantmaking committee, The Giving Project, a new model to shift decision-making power in philanthropy. As a Giving Project member, Brea reviewed applications, conducted site visits, and helped disperse funds to grassroots, community-led social justice organizations in Colorado. When she’s not working, you’ll find Brea reading, watching documentaries, and obsessing over pugs (and all animals). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Drawing strength from family roots stretching from Baltimore to Heidelberg, Vanessa Roberts is a community-based researcher, facilitator, and artivist currently based in Denver, Colorado. The term “artivist” refers to an intentional combination of the arts, activism, and academic practice. In Vanessa’s work all three are equally valued as each informs and influences the other. As a performance artist, activist, and scholar, re-infusing opportunities for artistic engagement into educational environments and community programs aligns her personal experiences, values and beliefs, with her professional pursuits. The crux of her work is held together by a steady belief in the power of story and self-expression tools for transformative social change.
Vanessa received her Bachelors of Arts from Colorado College in 2008 where she designed her own Liberal Arts and Science major entitled Critical Race Theory: Emphasis Performance Comedy, and minored in American Cultural Studies. Her major was based in the Philosophy and Drama/Dance departments, but pulled its curriculum from various academic areas including Sociology, Gender Studies and English. She went on to receive her Masters of Arts in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of Art at New York University, where her focus was on racial and ethnic performativity in the wake of the African diaspora.
Currently, Vanessa spends much of her time with her doctoral pursuit and teaching/research duties in the Department of Sociology and the School of Education at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Her speciality areas as an academic are race & ethnicity, cultural sociology, and youth development. She anticipates completing her doctorate in the summer of 2019.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org