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A few quotes on working with Merlyn on diversity & inclusion

at CU-Boulder and beyond 

Tom Sebok, Director of CU-Boulder’s Ombuds Office, 1991-2016 (25 years) / 303-665-7160

“What strikes me the most about Merlyn—perhaps more than anyone I ever met at the University of Colorado Boulder – is her passion for promoting a campus climate that is respectful and welcoming for all members of the University community.  Although I knew a number of people who felt passionately about this issue, none of them, without being asked by any administrator, took the initiative to do something about it on such a grand scale…. Such a grass roots effort was quite unusual at the University. In her own unassuming way, Merlyn demonstrated a kind of vision and leadership I personally found both admirable and compelling.” – July 21, 2016


Alphonse Keasley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, CU-Boulder, 

“Merlyn is the full embodiment of her humanistic studies and interests. During our monthly Advisory Chairs meetings, Merlyn interjects with both grace and determination relevant perspectives on how to approach a sensitive matter….. She is the genuine article who cares deeply about our campus becoming the best environment for all who work, study and visit it…. She is among a very rare group of CU-B staff who have taken the initiative to work tirelessly on behalf of everyone on campus.” -- July 22, 2016


Cecilia Valenzuala, Doctoral candidate, School of Education, CU-Boulder / Co-founder of the Graduate Students of Color Collective, 720-684-8733

“Merlyn Holmes… has been an outstanding advocate for campus climate and a respectful and supportive ally to graduate students from historically marginalized communities.  Across the board, Merlyn has consistently been a key campus leader in diversity initiatives within the graduate school….

                “From that initial meeting, I noted that Merlyn was genuine and passionate.  She builds intentional alliances from the ground up…. Over the years, I have worked with few faculty and students willing to learn affirming components of diversity work.  Merlyn exceeds in these efforts as she listens deeply to others and directly embraces and promotes the resources and skills of key communities on campus.” – August 19, 2016


   ...I am impressed by Merlyn and the Mmmwhah team not only for the quality of their events but also for the diversity of participants. The event I attended in person had an audience that reflected diversity of age and race beyond many Boulder events. The organic nature of the connection between participants was a tangible fulfillment of the goals of our grant program. Mmmwhah is clearly filling a need for people of all kinds to share space in artistic expression and mindfulness.

Brenda Ritenour
City of Boulder Neighborhood Liaison



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