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Making a Difference

Since 2017, the Community Foundation has built our Making a Difference speaker series into a much-anticipated opportunity to cultivate conversations and nurture ideas that truly make a difference in our community.

We have welcomed columnists, adventurers, entertainers, and changemakers. We have been moved by their inspirational stories, challenged by their thoughtful analysis, and prompted to deepen our impact in Southwest Colorado.

We are exploring exciting speakers for 2024. Please check back in to see who will be coming to make a difference in our community.

Bode Miller Follow-up

This year we featured ski-racing legend Bode Miller and his new film The Paradise Paradox. The film focused on mental health issues in our mountain towns. He has seen mental health challenges firsthand in rural, mountain towns as he trained and competed for more than two decades.

One of the themes that Miller focused on at events in Durango and Pagosa Springs in October is that each one of us can move the needle on mental health with empathy, really checking in with our neighbors, colleagues, and friends, and making it a priority to participate in grassroots efforts that are already happening in our community.

We are excited to announce that the Community Foundation has committed grant dollars to local organizations addressing mental health needs. We are granting $15,000 from our La Plata County Fund to local organizations working in mental health wellness, suicide prevention, and grief support. We are granting $5,000 to The Hive, In the Weeds, and The Grief Center of SW Colorado.

New this year and based on feedback from past Making a Difference events, we added a community conversation in both locations with a panel of experts, so that we could really dig deep and prompt important conversations, as well as actions, to support our regional mental health resources. During these events, several opportunities were mentioned.   We curated a list of the many useful resources that were discussed during those meaningful discussions.  Please click below for our Resource Guide.

Resource Guide

Previous Making a Difference Speakers:

Bode Miller

October 2023

David Brooks

February 2021

Erik Weihenmayer

January 2020

Monica lewinsky

April 2019

Michael Franti

December 2018

JEnna Bush HAger

April 2018

Nicholas Kristof

October 2017