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Candi CdeBaca

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.

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Brea Zeise

CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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).

VANESSA ROBERTS

LEAD FACILITATOR

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.

Vanessa firmly believes in the power of performance to open new spaces for learning and connection. Whether teaching at the collegiate level or facilitating a workshop, her presentations are interwoven with humor, personal stories and a love of social justice. 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.

The interdisciplinary nature of her academic career combined with a vested interest in place-based community change and a knack for working with youth, provides a solid foundation her for developing career as an activist with academic credentials – a scholar with street cred.

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 in 2009, where her focus was on racial and ethnic performativity in the wake of the African diaspora.

Currently, much of her time is absorbed 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.