Community Voices

Stories about learning together, building bridges and inspiring action.

Colorado offers spectacular beauty, closely-knit communities and people who work hard to build a future for themselves and their families.  In these communities, challenges arise and when they do, Coloradans come together. Despite different interests and ways of life, people across the state find common ground.  

To inspire action and find opportunities to learn from one another, Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension created Community Voices, a video series highlighting individual stories of Coloradans getting involved, working together, overcoming differences and inspiring change. Community Voices focuses on tough issues and highlights how individuals find ways to bridge differences across diverse topics and communities. 

CSU Dance Program Gets Communities Moving Together

Grace Gallager, an assistant professor of Dance at Colorado State University, believes that art – in particular dance – can play an important role in helping people connect, share, and build stronger communities, goals which lie at the heart of CSU’s mission as a land grant institution.

Aging with Mastery

Aging Mastery is an innovative CSU Extension program designed to promote wellbeing among older Coloradoans, while also creating new connections in communities with unique language or cultural characteristics.

Co-Existing with Fire Risk

Summit County, Colorado is known for amazing mountainous views. But living in a fire adapted forest has increased risk for homeowners. Hear how communities came together to mitigate the risks and enjoy their life among the forests.

Keeping Farming & Ranching Dreams Alive

In Colorado, the AgrAbility Project, a collaboration between CSU Extension and Goodwill Industries, is changing lives. Vijay Viswanathan, paralyzed from the waist down, and Lexi Bingham, living with muscular dystrophy, have both found renewed hope and independence in farming through AgrAbility’s support.

Bridging System Gaps to Fight Hunger

Mesa County in Colorado’s Grand Valley is one of the state’s most successful agricultural regions, producing fruits and vegetables prized throughout the nation.  Yet in this land of plenty, a large percentage of local families are struggling with hunger and its related challenges. Learn how Grand Valley parners are taking a big-picture approach to addressing food insecurity in their communities.


Colorado’s Cottage Foods: A Recipe for Entrepreneurship

From local festivals to weekly farmer’s markets, nothing brings a community together like food. Learn how Colorado’s wonderfully diverse culinary landscape and its growing cottage foods industry has created the perfect recipe for home cooks to turn a talent for making jams, cakes, and other goodies items into thriving kitchen-based businesses.

A Focus on Housing

To solve long-term housing and health challenges, communities need to bring together a diverse group of voices to the table. Learn how one Colorado community, faced with rapidly increasing housing costs, tackled this problem by inviting a diverse group of people to the table who shared a variety of experiences, ideas and solutions.

Melanin Armendariz

A dream realized, Melanin Armendariz, a first-generation student, earned a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in early childhood education. The process, however, was not always smooth. At times, simply navigating college proved challenging, but with support and effort, she succeeded.

Alan Munoz

A first-generation student, Alan Munoz knew that he needed to go somewhere and get different perspectives, learn new things and open his my mind to new things. He found that place at CSU and its undergraduate population composed of nearly 25 percent first-generation students.

Farm to School Meals

Across the state, Colorado farmers produce fresh food. Getting that food to local schools can be a challenge. In this edition of Community Voices, find out how people come together to build bridges between local farmers and schools to provide our youth with better nutrition.

Learning as a Bridge

Colorado State University student, Sara Bovaird, reflects on her experiential learning opportunity that allowed her to build bridges with the community of Sterling, Colorado. Her time there, researching and documenting historically significant buildings, made an impact on her and the town.

Endangered Fish and the Palisade High School Fish Hatchery

For students at Palisade High School, their fish hatchery is more than a class project, it is a point of pride and an opportunity to help protect one of Colorado’s most endangered fish species: razorback suckers.

Water as a Bridge

Water is essential to life: Finite, fragile and fraught with a complex and sometimes combative history. This is the story of passionate people finding common ground in the ongoing struggle to manage one of Colorado’s most precious and increasingly scarce resourceswith implications flowing well beyond the state’s borders. 

Community Voices Discussion Guide

Engage and inspire your group by sharing and discussing our Community Voices series. Select and review one of our stories of Coloradans learning and working together, building bridges, inspiring action and empowering communities to thrive.

Learning Together

In addition to the video stories, our Community Voices site has links to written materials and a variety of resources related to each topic. To make the most of these materials, consider using the discussion guide below to help inspire action in your own organization or community.

Building Bridges

Prior to Viewing

  • What are some of the ways the subject of this video is important to our lives or our organization?
  • What do you know about this topic?
  • Have you ever had to work closely with someone you viewed as a rival? How did you handle that situation?

Post Viewing

  • What new ideas or perspectives did you gain from this video?
  • What are some benefits of the approach outlined in this video? What are some risks or potential challenges?
  • How did the people in this video work together to build bridges, establish trust or solve a shared problem?

Inspiring Action

Self-Reflection and Moving Forward. 

  • What are some of the ways you/we can get involved in this issue in our community?
  • Could the approach shown in this video work with our organization or with similar challenges that we face?
  • What actions could each of us take based on what we learned from this video?