Published: May 9, 2019

The retirement of Dr. Brenda J. Allen, Professor of Communication and Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion, gives us the opportunity to reflect on how this university is a better place to work and interact because of Brenda J’s passion to make change that is strategic, systemic, and sustainable. Dr. Allen’s commitment to inclusion and equity is deep and wide. She has touched faculty, students, staff, alums, and administrators with the knowledge that difference matters, and we better do something about it. She has been a model for providing the tools for fostering inclusion, but also in making people feel included in their everyday interactions with her. In the college, when she was in the associate dean position I hold now, she started the CLAS Council on Diversity and Inclusion, which has grown to be a vital collaborative space for faculty, staff, and students. As Vice Chancellor, she has been, as someone said, the conscience of this university, working to hold us to our promise of creating an anti-oppressive, equitable, and just campus. We need to continue to develop the coalitions and nurture each other’s capacities to make CU Denver the place that Dr. Allen did her best to cultivate. In honor of Brenda J’s contributions to the university, her colleagues have created the Brenda J. Allen Diversity and Inclusion Fund. The fund will support both an award for Inclusive Leadership for faculty and staff and a student scholarship awarded in consultation with the Center for Identity and Inclusion. This fund will become endowed if it reaches $25,000 by June 30, 2021. If you are interested in contributing, go to https://giving.cu.edu/ and write in the name of the fund. Congratulations, Brenda, on your new adventures!