EQUITY AND INCLUSION
In our region, members of marginalized groups are disproportionately represented in leadership and civic roles. Not having a seat at the table or decision-making authority contributes to feelings of not being heard, less community engagement, and an inability to thrive.
We work to ensure fair access to resources, opportunities, and representation for all residents, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances. We strive to cultivate a sense of belonging and create an environment where everyone feels welcomed, respected, supported, uplifted, and valued. Ensuring an equitable and inclusive community and celebrating our diversity is fundamental to everything the Telluride Foundation does.
Our initial focus is supporting our immigrant population. We recognize that approximately 30% of our community consists of immigrants who live or work in the Telluride region and are actively working to improve their participation and integration in our community through Collaborative Action for Immigrants (CAFI).
We serve as the fiscal sponsor for CAFI. CAFI is a coalition of representatives from organizations offering services to the immigrant community, and their mission is to ensure that Telluride and surrounding communities are responsive to and supportive of our immigrant population and their unique needs by advocating for social justice, equity, and true inclusion. In addition to their advocacy work, CAFI also manages the UNIDOS fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to immigrant families, focusing on the key social determinants of health, including rent, food, and health care expenses.
We sponsor events through CAFI, such as Community Fiesta and Papa Noel, that bring together community members to celebrate diverse cultures and create opportunities to interact with one another, fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie.
We manage a business acceleration program through the Telluride Venture Network, Cómo Construir Un Negocio (How to Build a Business), to support Latino entrepreneurs and business owners, a traditionally underserved community without access to Spanish-speaking resources or capital.
We host community and nonprofit workshops to promote and encourage equity and inclusion best practices.
Provided $70,000 to date in emergency relief to over 40 immigrant families through the UNIDOS fund.
Community Fiesta and Papa Noel combined attract 850 community members annually.
CAFI’s membership includes 40+ representatives from different community organizations. Monthly meetings provide an opportunity for community organizations to share programs and events with the immigrant community, including upcoming computer workshops and local energy efficiency programs.
Graduated 32 entrepreneurs from Cómo Construir Un Negocio to date of which 14 have been awarded a combined $50K to start or expand businesses.
Hosted a Transformational Leadership Workshop focused cultivating a sense of belonging, environmental justice, and creating change through government systems and policies. The workshop was attended by 144 individuals from nonprofit organizations and the community at large.
STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE
I learned a lot about business from this [Cómo Construir Un Negocio] program. What was most helpful was the mentorship I received from Michelle and Christina. Michelle helped me think through all the important aspects of running a business. We discussed pricing, budgeting, service offerings, customer identification, business costs, and how to form my business. Michelle provided translation throughout the process and helped me work with an attorney to get my business registered. Christina was my cheerleader and continues to push me to believe in myself. She also helped me develop a partnership with the boutique, Two Skirts.
-Lorena Ortiz, owner of Lorena’s Alterations and Cómo Construir Un Negocio Bootcamp graduate