Young Women Run Denver 2019 | October 26, 2019

Hosted at The University of Denver | 9:00 am to 2:00 pm


Are you ready to flex your political power and ramp up your civic engagement? Young Women Run Denver will connect you to elected leaders, train you on strategies to mobilize for 2020, and more. You'll build a squad of politically ambitious young women and leave empowered, activated, and ready to run for office - or campaign for a candidate you admire. Onward, to Young Women Run and 2020!


9:00 AM - Breakfast and Registration

9:30 AM - Welcome and Plenary

10:00 AM - Breakout #1

11:00 AM - Breakout #2

12:00 PM - Lunch with Women in Politics

1:00 PM - Opportunity Fair

Keynote Speaker: Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Diana DeGette represents Colorado’s 1st Congressional district and has established herself as a leader here in Colorado and on the national stage. She proudly stands on the frontlines for progressive change on health care, reproductive rights, climate change, consumer protection and the environment.

Diana serves on the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce where she has leveraged her leadership position to improve health care, expand medical research, reform corporate business and accounting practices, ensure that our homeland is adequately protected, take on global climate change, and move America toward energy independence. In 2019, Rep. DeGette was named Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, putting her in a position to hold the Trump Administration accountable. She has investigated the Administration’s migrant family separation policy and insulin pricing in that role. 

In addition to her committee assignments, Diana is the Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Vice-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and holds membership in 20 Caucuses focused on advancing medical research, culture and renewable energy.

A fourth-generation Coloradoan, Diana graduated from Denver’s South High School, received her B.A. magna cum laude from Colorado College in 1979 and her J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1982. She served two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives serving as Assistant Minority Leader from 1993-1995. Diana is married to an attorney, Lino Lipinsky. They have two daughters, Raphaela and Francesca and a dog, Charlie.

Keynote Speaker: Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera

Dianne Primavera is a leading patient advocate who has spent three decades fighting for every Coloradan’s access to quality, affordable health care.

As a young mom in 1988, Dianne was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her doctor told her that she had, at most, five years to live. Since her first diagnosis, Dianne has fought cancer four times and survived. Her personal battle with cancer inspired her to make it her life’s work to ensure every Coloradan has access to the health care they need when they need it.

In 1990, Dianne joined the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury Center, where her work focused on helping individuals dealing with serious injuries recover and resume dignified, fulfilling lives. Since then, she’s held many prominent positions throughout the public and nonprofit sectors devoted to furthering life-saving medical research and connecting Coloradans who experience illness with the treatment they need to recover.

In 2006, Dianne was elected to the first of four terms in the State Legislature, representing Broomfield, Superior, and parts of Erie. Throughout her service, Dianne was highly regarded for her success working across the aisle to promote Colorado small businesses, lower prescription drug costs, and expand access to affordable health care.

Most recently, Dianne served as the CEO of Susan G. Komen Colorado, one of the largest organizations in the country dedicated to breast cancer prevention, treatment, research, and education.

Dianne is a lifelong Coloradan and a Broomfield resident. She has two adult daughters and a one-year-old granddaughter, Kailani. Dianne is also an avid country dancer — taking after her dad, who was a dedicated ballroom dancer throughout his life, even on his 95th birthday.


Jennifer Benson, Founder, InvestHer Jennifer is a licensed attorney and works as the Founder of InvestHER, a Colorado political committee focused on supporting women running for office. While attending law school at the University of Colorado, she worked for Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic and the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, and she served as Managing Editor of the Colorado Law Review where her research focused on racial and gender inequity in the agriculture industry. In addition, she served on the boards of the Women's Law Caucus and the Colorado Women's Bar Association. Before law school, Jennifer completed a Masters of Education at Stephens College and worked as a high school guidance counselor and dance coach. Outside of helping women get elected, Jennifer enjoys taking dance classes, singing karaoke, exploring Denver, and reading about important women throughout history.
Feven Berhanu, Immigrant Justice Organizer, CO People's Alliance Feven Berhanu is an Ethiopian born immigrant who moved to the United States with her family as a child. She studied political science and international studies at the University of Colorado Denver, and now organizes around immigrant justice and detention resistance in Denver.
Maria Corral, Community Integration Coordinator, Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs Bio coming soon.
Dominique M. David-Chavez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Native Nations Institute & Colorado State University Dominique David-Chavez is a multi-cultural Caribbean Indigenous (Arawak Taíno) research scientist, mentor, learner, and mother. She engages in her scholarship and practice in community-based climate research and science education with an intergenerational commitment towards supporting culturally-grounded and historically marginalized community members as leaders in the sciences. As the first generation in her family with access to higher education, she earned her PhD in natural resource sciences and now works as a postdoctoral research fellow with the Native Nations Institute for strengthening Indigenous governance and Colorado State University’s Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Program. Dominique’s work in the Caribbean islands and Western U.S. engages Indigenous youth, elders, community educators, and farmers as researchers, restoring pathways for knowledge regeneration with the original stewards of Indigenous knowledge systems and lands in which they are embedded.
Raquel Lane-Arellano, Policy Manager, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Raquel Lane-Arellano was born and raised in Denver. As the daughter of two working-class parents, she was the first in her family to graduate from college. She studied Chicanx/Latinx studies at Stanford University and graduated in 2017. Her passion lies in the intersection of immigration and education equity. Raquel is currently a Policy Manager with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Shontel Lewis, Director District B, The Regional Transportation District Shontel is a Colorado Native, transit rider and long-time community leader. She grew up in the Historic Five Points neighborhood and she is a proud graduate of Manual High School.
Samantha Lichtin, Legislative Liason & Policy Analyst Samantha Lichtin served as the inaugural IGNITE Denver Fellow 2017-2018, and now advocates for climate policy on behalf of the state as the Legislative Liaison for the Colorado Energy Office. She graduated from Yale in 2016 with a BS in Geology and Geophysics, and came home to learn how people can make policy for the 21st century. Prior to assuming her role at the Energy Office, Sam served as campaign staff on Morgan Carroll's run for her home congressional district (CO-6), an organizer of the Denver March for Science, a consultant for universities on the science-policy interface, and as climate policy staff for members of the Colorado House of Representatives, Senate, and Governor’s Office.
Lisa Smith, Candidate for Colorado State House District 13 Lisa is running for Colorado House District 13 in 2020. Colorado is her home. She was born here in 1982 and graduated from Fairview High School in 2001. Her first turns were on the slopes of Winter Park at age 3. Colorado is in her blood, and it is also the place she has chosen to stay, for the community she loves and the unrivaled beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Public service is what she does. Lisa has: Served on the City of Boulder’s Urban Renewal Advisory Board; Worked for New Era Colorado; Worked for the City of Boulder on clean, local energy and economic vitality; Earned dual Masters degrees in Public Administration and Urban Planning; Completed Emerge Colorado’s 6-month candidate training for democratic women; Served on Boulder County’s Cultural Council, distributing tax dollars to arts and sciences organizations; Worked for Boulder County Elections during the 2018 election. She believes that the challenges we face are immediate and existential, but also sees great cause for hope. We can transform lives and better our community by stepping up to serve. She is running to make House District 13 Colorado’s leader in confronting climate change, ensuring health care for all, making housing affordable, protecting human rights, transforming transportation, and rebuilding the middle class.


Janelle Watson, Southwest Lead, Facebook Jannelle Watson works on Facebook’s Politics and Government outreach team where she focuses on helping state and local elected officials, political candidates and government agencies build a best in class presence on Facebook and across the family of apps. Prior to Facebook, Jannelle worked for the National League of Cities and the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

Thank you, Sponsors

Sponsorship Opportunities

The time is now to inspire and activate the next generation of women leaders. We invite you to join us as a partner in this worthwhile and energizing community event. Learn more here and contact for opportunities.