Published: Sept. 21, 2018 By

Manuela SifuentesManuela Sifuentes, The Director of Community Partnerships at CU Engage, will receive the 2018 Multicultural Award in Education presented by Boulder County on October 4, 2018 at the Boulder Jewish Community Center. The Thirtieth Annual Multicultural Awards Banquet celebrates people of color in Boulder County who have made significant contributions to the community in the areas of Arts, Business, Community Service, Education, and Health, with additional awards for area Partners and Youth. The goal of the banquet is to provide an opportunity for members of the community to celebrate cultural diversity, and the amazing work done by the wide spectrum of people who live and work here. Sifuentes is receiving the award in the Education category.

"Manuela is very involved in the community, and an advocate for Latinos, Immigrants and other disenfranchised groups," says Janet Heimer, Boulder community member and former Director of Boulder County's Community Action Programs (CAP) who nominated Manuela.

Sifuentes has a very broad view of education, from reproductive health education with Latinx immigrants in Washington, DC, to helping leaders in Boulder County understand equitable and meaningful language access policies. Her work focuses on dismantling systems of oppression while also supporting historically marginalized communities as they navigate those systems. Raised in both Guatemala and Boulder, she has a unique talent for working across multiple contexts. She is bilingual and bicultural, an accomplished translator, certified interpreter, and an advocate for health equity and educational access. She has served on several boards and committees including the Latino Task Force of Boulder County, Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, the City of Boulder’s Capital Improvement Tax Renewal, and the Teachers of Color and Allies Conference. She received her B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Colorado, and Master’s of Public Health and Public Administration degrees from the University of Michigan. In her current role as Director of Community Partnerships for CU Engage, Sifuentes cultivates and sustains relationships between CU Engage and community organizations to carry out collaborative projects that advance the public good.

“I feel honored to be recognized alongside so many other wonderful people. The recipients of this year’s award are all doing such outstanding work,” Sifuentes states. "Communities of color are often ignored by mainstream Boulder County, and yet there are so many people who are doing very critical and important work in their communities. Every year there are multiple people awarded. This is the thirtieth year of the awards and we still haven’t run out of outstanding people of color," she says with a wink.

Ben Kirshner, CU Engage Faculty Director, states, “I can’t think of a more deserving person for this Award; Manuela brings a wonderful combination of warmth, generosity, courage, and critique to her work to address systemic challenges in our communities. I’m honored to be her colleague.”

Tickets are now available online for the Thirtieth Annual Multicultural Awards Banquet, which will take place on Thursday, October 4th from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. The banquet will take place this year at the Jewish Community Center, 6007 Oreg Ave, off of East Arapahoe in Boulder. There will be a reception and cocktail hour from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., and the dinner and awards ceremony runs from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. The tickets for the banquet are now available for purchase. Tickets are $75 for adults, with discounts for children, seniors, and for tables of ten. If you have questions about tickets or the event in general, please contact or call 303-441-3975.

Sifuentes is proud to be recognized for her advocacy and organizing work and vows to continue working hard for equity and the inclusion of people of color in Boulder County. "There is a Chicana writer named Gloria Anzaldua, and she said wild tongues can't be tamed, they can only be cut out," Sifuentes reflects. "So I’ll continue to not be tamed, and to speak out and advocate for the rights of communities of color and other marginalized communities in Boulder."