DU Grand Challenges Forums highlight topics related to the interconnected issues of Improving Daily Living, Increasing Economic Opportunity and Advancing Deliberation and Action for the Public Good.
During the 2022-2023 we’ll also be sharing updates on DU’s application for the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement.
Learn more about DU's application for the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement.Learn More
Campus and community experts share bold and provocative ideas that spark discussion among attendees on how the topic impacts our communities, providing fuel and inspiration for bold actions that help our communities thrive.
Eco Justice Spark Session - February 21, 2023
Meet new people, spark new ideas, seed new collaborations! Hear from:
Julia Senecal - Institute for Human-Animal Connection; Center for Sustainability
Dr. Sarah Bexell - Graduate School of Social Work; Institute for Human-Animal Connection; Center for Sustainability
Eli Zehe - Student - Geography & Political Science
Laura Martinez - Manager of Environmental Justice Programs with Cultivando
Couldn't make it? You can view the recording here! Eco Justice Spark Session
Education Equity Forum - October 12, 2022
For our first Forum of the year, campus and community experts shared bold and provocative ideas to spark discussion on how education equity impacts our communities, providing fuel and inspiration for bold actions that help our communities thrive.
Couldn't make it? You can view the recording here! Education Equity Forum
Forums from Previous Years
Interconnected Grand Challenges Topics
DU Prison Arts Initiative: Chained Voices | Aug. 20, 2021
The Chained Voices visual art show was produced with DU PAI and supported by the DUGC Crime and Safety Cohort and featured art by artists incarcerated across the Colorado Department of Corrections. Colorado Newsline article featured this event: A push to change Colorado’s prison culture and perceptions — one art piece at a time - Colorado Newsline.
Sustainability Conference | Feb. 18, 2022
How can DU students, faculty, and staff collaborate effectively with diverse community members to advance equitable and ecologically sustainable outcomes in the Denver Region? On February 18th, representatives from the DU Grand Challenges (DUGC) Urban Sustainability Cohort explored this question and shared insights drawn from their leadership of key prototype initiatives, each intended to cultivate reciprocal community-university, multi-sector partnerships that contribute to one unifying result: “The Denver region supports just, inclusive and thriving communities where people and nature flourish.”
Featured projects included:
- Campus-City Partnerships: Amplifying Community Voices in Public Policy and Planning
- The Valverde Movement Project
- Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA)
- Beyond GDP: Measuring Human & Ecological Wellbeing
Participants engaged in facilitated dialogue about essential ingredients and practices for building effective community-university partnerships that cultivate the collective understanding and relational power required to address complex problems in the living systems we call home.
The Sustainability Cohort is one of DUGC’s four collective impact cohorts in which faculty, staff and students partner with community leaders from the public, private, and civic sectors to improve daily life, now and in the future through interdisciplinary, community-based scholarship and learning.
Climate Justice Day | April 12, 2022
This spring, IRISE hosted a series of speakers and university-wide classes related to climate justice. DUGC contributed to the April 12th Climate Justice lunchtime roundtable that welcomed community and government stakeholders and Dr. Nadia Kim of Loyola Marymount University, author of Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA.
DUGC Celebration | May 18, 2022
A celebratory Forum that highlighted the amazing work done by individuals and teams through the DU Grand Challenges initiative over the years.
Deliberation & Action for the Public Good
- The Role of Higher Education in Movement-Building (video recording below)
- Community-Engaged Scholarship to End Gender Violence (video recording below)
- Centering Antiracism in Community-University Partnerships (video recording below)
- Beyond Elections: Deliberation & Action for the Public Good (video recording below)
Deliberation & Action for the Public Good
Higher Education's Civic Mission
Increasing Economic Opportunity
Improving Daily Living
2020-2021 Forum Recordings
Check out the lightning talks from our final Forum of AY 20-21, The Role of Higher Education in Movement-Building.
Watch the lightning talks from our April Forum on Community-Engaged Scholarship to End Gender Violence now!
Check out the lightning talks from our January Forum, Centering Antiracism in Community-University Partnerships!
Watch the lightning talks from our November 2020 Forum, Beyond Elections: Deliberation & Action for the Public Good, here.
Fireside Chats is a new, four-part series from DU Grand Challenges and Fireside at Five centering on "What Is Community?". This series aims to discuss topics that affect each of us in our community through engaging panels of academic experts, students, alumni, and community leaders. Each Fireside Chat focuses on a different topic with a goal of creating an environment where we listen to each other and share resources, allies, and connections.
Fireside Chats are made possible by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.
Upcoming Fireside Chats
There are currently no Fireside Chats planned for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Previous 2021-2022 Fireside Chats
Making Moves: Migration in The Mile High City - Jan. 20th 2022
Our first Fireside Chat explored migration in Denver and interconnections for creating more inclusive communities. It focused on the immigrant, refugee, and first-generation experience, from the policies affecting immigration to what it means to truly support the entrepreneurial spirit of refugee communities - our panelists had lived, professional and academic experiences to share with us on the intersectional topic of migration.
Amongst our panelists were Rep. Iman Jodeh, Slavica Park, Tracy Harper, Hava Gordon, and Marissa Martinez Suarez. Watch the livestream below and view key takeaways on Fireside at Five's blog "Five Takeaways: Making Moves - Migration in the Mile High City — Fireside at Five.
A Safer Place in Denver - March 3, 2022
Our second chat focused on exploring housing and food insecurity in Denver and interconnections for creating a safer community for us all. We discussed questions like - how do homelessness and racism intersect? In what ways does this lead to deeper inequity? Why are housing and food becoming more and more expensive? How can we create systems that support autonomy and sustainable outcomes for those struggling with rent and food security?
Our panelists were Rep. Leslie Herod, Eli Zain, Heather Martin, Rebecca Arno, and Andres Pulido. Watch the livestream below and read key takeaways at "Five Takeaways Blog - A Safer Place in Denver — Fireside at Five."
Green Justice in Denver - April 21, 2022
Our third Fireside Chat focused on the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. We heard from individuals on the frontlines of Denver’s eco-efforts & learned how we can work with communities to make urban greenspaces & eco-resources more accessible.
Our panelists were Kayla Fatemi, Evon Lopez, Monique 'Mo' Fair, Jorge Figueroa, and Lisa Reyes Mason. Watch the livestream below and read key takeaways at "Five Takeaways: Green Justice in Denver — Fireside at Five"
Healing Past Incarceration - May 12, 2022
Our final Fireside Chat centered on discussions around how can we work together to better support community members who were previously incarcerated.
Our panelists were Carol Peeples & Roohallah Mobarez from Remerg, Linda Agripino & Paul Galloway from Red Rocks Gateway Program, Jeffrey Lin a DU Associate Professor in Sociology & Criminology, Maddie Heiken a DU undergraduate student, and JoyBelle Phelan & Eric Davis from DU Prison Arts Initiative. Watch the livestream below and read key takeaways at "Five Takeaways: Healing Past Incarceration — Fireside at Five"