Published: Feb. 2, 2018

Front Range Eco-Social Solutions graphicIn its 15th year, Front Range Eco-Social Solutions is two days of sharing, learning and action, and is a uniquely affordable community event that brings together the progressive thinkers of this colorful region. The free Feb. 9–10 event is designed to cultivate networks and cross-pollinate many environmental and social topics.

Front Range Eco-Social Solutions features re-broadcasts of the national Bioneers plenaries—the preeminent international gathering of leading innovators and visionaries who offer practical solutions to the most pressing environmental and social issues of our time.

In its 28th year, Bioneers continues to uniquely and authentically articulate the relationships between environment, health, social justice and spirit. These national presentations set a global context for the local conference, which features over 30 options of workshops and sessions with over 80 local presenters that focus on topics of regional importance. There is something for every interest and level of involvement on issues of sustainability. 

In addition to broadcasts from the 2017 national Bioneers conference, this year's local program features:

  • Live presentations by Nita Gonzales and Lydia Prado (biographies below)
  • Sessions and workshops on local topics, tools and solutions ranging from permaculture to aquaponics, climate action to food justice and housing solutions to green burial
  • Parent-accompanied kids activities
  • Solutions Showcase featuring innovative businesses and community organizations on Saturday
  • Live performance by Climbing PoeTree

If you go

Who: Open to the public
What: 15th Annual Front Range Eco-Social Solutions
Day one: Friday, Feb. 9, 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Day two: Saturday, Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Sustainability, Energy and Environment Community (SEEC)
RSVP: Encouraged

The live presentations 

Nita Gonzales: “People, Place and Power” Friday evening, Feb. 9

A proud Chicana born on the east side of Denver with strong philosophical and intellectual influences, Gonzales became a teacher and a community activist. She served as president/CEO of the national model for Chicano/Mexicano and indigenous education at Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios, co-founded with her father.

Her involvement in the Denver and Colorado communities far transcends the four-decade legacy of Escuela Tlatelolco. As a community organizer, Gonzales founded the Denver Youth Employment and Education Task Force and the Chicano/Mexicano Education Coalition and co-founded the Colorado Latino Forum.

She is the recipient of many awards and honors for her work in educational and community empowerment, including Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Denver and the first Colorado Latina named one of President Obama’s Champions for Change.

Lydia Prado: “Collaborating Across Cultures” Saturday morning, Feb. 10

Prado grew up feeling culturally enriched, speaking both English and Spanish, and thriving in a community where she was surrounded by many talented, creative and resilient people. When she left to attend college, she was surprised to learn the mainstream and academic view of her community was filtered through a lens of deficits rather than strengths.

She earned her doctorate at the University of Denver and later served on its faculty. Today, as vice president of Child and Family Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver, Prado weaves together evidence-based best practices with respect and understanding of diverse cultural strengths to develop more effective, holistic approaches to services. She directed the development of the new Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, which embodies this integrated strategy.

The event is free and open to the public. Please register in advance to help organizers plan accordingly. Seating is on a first-come basis. 

Front Range Eco-Social Solutions is a Bioneers Network Event produced by the CU Environmental Center in collaboration with Naropa University, Woodbine Ecology Center, Denver Permaculture Guild, and Earth Guardians.