CIRCLE Cultural Café -- the ‘un-conference’

The CIRCLE Cultural Café is an annual diversity and inclusiveness ‘un-conference’ for community leaders, educators, board members, parents, and students committed to building more inclusive communities to come together to engage in shared learning, listening, and leadership.

The name CIRCLE reflects our commitment to our work. Connecting Inclusive, Responsive Communities Leading Education” is more than just a name. It is a values statement that guides our work as we plan each and every event, speaker, and workshop.

The CIRCLE promotes a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness and moves beyond celebrations and awareness by intentionally approaching specific issues that surround inclusiveness in a multifaceted approach by exploring opportunities, knowledge, and skills.



We’re pivoting! Join us for CIRCLE’s 2022 Cultural Café-cito Virtual Series


Weekly, Tuesday, February 1st - March 1st, 2022 

3:45 - 5:00 p.m. (MST)

Via Zoom 

Register today!


Join community members, educators, parents, and students for CIRCLE’s virtual weekly series, different speakers and dialogue each week.

The speakers during this series will focus on how to improve systems to promote diversity, equity and inclusiveness, the role of the community in creating systems of change, and cross cultural dialogue through the arts, academia and community care.

We are excited about the pivot to a virtual, more accessible weekly experience where you will be inspired by one of our compelling speakers each week. In addition, there will be opportunities for community learning, small group dialogue, and collective action! 

Tickets are available for $25/session or $110 for all five sessions. Limited space available per session.


Series Session Schedule: Tuesday, 2/1 - 3/1 | 3:45 - 5:00 p.m. (MST)



Feb 1, 2022: There's More Medicine than Illness: Healing Historical Trauma in Indigenous Communities

Typical mainstream research on Indigenous health tends to focus on problems and deficits which can create negative stereotypes attributed to cultural groups. This session challenges the deficit narrative by centering resilience, resistance, and the power of story on healing historical trauma in Indigenous communities. 

With Dr. Ramona Beltrán (Yaqui/Mexica), Associate Professor at the University of Denver.

Dr. Beltrán, MSW, PhD is a Xicana of Yaqui and Mexica descent and dancer/activist/scholar. As an Associate Professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, her scholarship is committed to interrupting legacies of historical trauma that affect Indigenous and Latinx communities with a commitment to addressing issues facing LGBTQ and Two Spirit communities. She focuses on disrupting the problem-focused approach to understanding Indigenous/Latinx health that dominates mainstream research. She does this through centering culture in knowledge production with and for Indigenous/Latinx communities.

Feb 8, 2022: Love Letter to My Community: Lessons Learned as State Historian

The experience of being Colorado’s first Latina State Historian has been a journey of self-reflection and connection with community.  Dr. Gonzales will share some of these experiences, especially the superpower of knowing and honoring one’s roots and embracing one’s community.

With Dr. Nicki Gonzales, Associate professor of History and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Regis University, and Colorado's State Historian.

Dr. Gonzales is a native of Denver, and her family has deep roots in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. She specializes in the history of the American West, with a focus on race relations and social and political movements. Her research interests include the land grant movements of Southern Colorado and the experiences of Chicano Vietnam Veterans. She is also a mom and coach to her two sons, Danny and Teddy.

Feb 15, 2022: Journey to Become a Good Ancestor: A Brave New World

It is said that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. But what does it require of us to become good ancestors; so that what we do and represent in the now; models, inspires and supports a healthy and just world for our future generations as well? It will take some bravery on our part, and honesty and transparency, to look at who we’ve been in order to understand our now and transform our tomorrow.

With Norma Johnson (she/her/hers), Founder of All in Spirit.

Norma is a spiritual healer, speaker, writer-poet-playwright, performance artist and facilitator that brings a creative background into her distinctive presentation form of social justice education and activism. Norma collaborates with a dynamic range of organizations, institutions, faith communities, arts, civic groups, and educational forums such as the highly regarded Annual White Privilege Conference. Her deeply moving poems are featured in racial justice courses taught by educators across the country. Her storytelling inspires awareness and insight and the power we have to bring paths of healing to our future.

Feb 22, 2022: Introduction to Strategic Questioning: A Strategy for Social Justice

Strategic questioning is a technique designed to create knowledge that awakens possibilities of change.  It is a process that empowers new questions, releases blocks to new ideas, facilitates people’s own responses to change, and creates answers that may not be immediately known but, may emerge.  This is a process tool that can become a practice in addressing new ways to develop more equity and inclusion or, to sift through conversations, opinions and attitudes that can often undermine transformative change. 

With Dr. Shakti Butler, PhD, visionary, filmmaker, transformative learning educator, wife, mother, grandmother and friend to many. Dr. Butler is the President and Founder of World Trust Educational Services, Inc.

Rooted in love and justice, World Trust produces films, curricula, workshops and programs that are catalysts for institutional, structural and cultural change. Shakti is an inspirational speaker, facilitator, trainer and lecturer who is sought after by schools, universities, public and private organizations, and faith-based institutions. Dr. Butler has produced five documentaries. The first four form the core of World Trust’s teaching tools and have experienced increased exposure – over 30 million views of one clip alone -- generating national dialogue and critical thinking that is impacting institutions and communities across the country. These are The Way Home; Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible; Light in the Shadows and Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity. In 2017 Shakti premiered Healing Justice, intended to popularize a national conversation about justice, healing, and the youth-to-prison pipeline. Dr. Butler also served as diversity consultant and advisor on the Oscar-winning Disney animated film, Zootopia, which focuses on challenging bias and systemic inequity. Shakti’s work incorporates whole body learning through stories, art, movement and dialogue.

March 1, 2022: Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Vital to Organizational Goals 

Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? Diversity, equity, and inclusion have become buzzwords that have been placed strategically in organizational mandates, inspired the formation of DEI committees, and/or simply sparked critical dialogue around organizational culture. But do we know what these words really mean and how do we put this work into action in the environmental field? In this session, participants will learn about how we incorporate DEI principles into our work and the importance of creating welcoming spaces. 

With Parker McMullen Bushman, Chief Operating Officer of Inclusive Journeys, and founder of Ecoinclusive Strategies.

Parker is a dynamic speaker and facilitator that engages organizations in new thinking around what it means to be a diversity change-agent and create dynamic organizational change. Parker’s background in the non-profit leadership, conservation, environmental education and outdoor recreation fields spans over 24+ years. Parker has a passion for equity and inclusion in outdoor spaces. Her interest in justice, accessibility, and equity issues developed from her personal experiences facing the unequal representation of people of color in environmental organizations and green spaces. Parker tackles these complex issues by addressing them through head on activism and education. For 9 years Parker has worked with businesses to catalyze action to build culturally diverse and culturally competent organizations that are representative of the populations that they seek to reach and serve. Parker is the founder of the organization called Ecoinclusive Strategies.

Ecoinclusive ( provides training and resources for non-profit, cultural, and environmental organizations. In Parker’s role as Chief Operating Officer she oversees the core operational functions of Inclusive Journeys. Inclusive Journeys ( is a tech company with a mission to create data-driven, economic incentives for businesses to be more inclusive and welcoming, resulting in safer spaces for people who regularly experience discrimination.

Parker brings a unique background to this work, having served in top leadership for Marine Science, Environmental Educational, and Cultural Interpretive Facilities. Parker has served as the Vice President for Community Engagement, Education and Inclusion at Butterfly Pavilion, an Invertebrate Zoo located in Westminster, CO. She also served as the Director of Education for the Marine Science Consortium, a research and education center located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Parker has a Master of Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, with a focus in Interpretation and Environmental Education. She leads several committees that focus on diversity in environmental fields as well as a presenter and trainer on diversity issues. She sits on the board of Environmental Learning for Kids, Metro Denver Nature Alliance, The Next 100 Coalition and the National Association for Interpretation.

Please contact with any questions or needs in order to participate at

Register through Eventbrite today! 

See who’s spoken at our past conferences below! 

Past CIRCLE Conferences

Past Presenters

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