About Us

Brief History | Vision, Mission & Values | Board Members | Staff | Commission Chairs | Our supporters | National Interfaith Alliance

Brief History

The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado (TIA-CO) was founded in 1998 by a group of clergy and laity who were searching for a way to give voice to Coloradans who wanted to put their faith into action as a force for good in public life.  The idea for TIA-CO had taken root a year earlier following a memorial address by Rabbi Steven Foster to honor Gill Horn, the executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, who had died a few days earlier.  Rabbi Foster challenged those at the memorial service to continue Rev. Horn’s work of reaching out to people of all faiths and speaking out strongly but with an inclusive voice about problems in Colorado and across the country.

With the 1998 statewide elections on the immediate horizon, TIA-CO launched its new movement with a statewide Code of Civility initiative focusing on the way campaigns were conducted.  When 55 of the candidates signed the Code of Civility pledge to conduct a fair and honest campaign and to refrain from making religion an issue in their individual contests, the alliance began making headlines, followed by telephone calls, checks and volunteers.

In 2000 TIA-CO incorporated in Colorado, obtained 501 (c) (3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, and qualified as an affiliate of The Interfaith Alliance (TIA national)

Vision, Mission & Values

Vision Statement
TIA-CO envisions a pluralistic civil society in which people and communities of faith uphold and contribute to diversity, respect, justice, and opportunity for all.
Rooted in progressive religious and spiritual values, and through its interfaith programs, civic participation and political activism, TIA-CO demonstrates the human capacity for compassion, cooperation and partnership in the service of the common good.

Mission Statement
TIA-CO promotes justice, religious liberty, and interfaith understanding by educating, organizing and equipping progressive people of faith and goodwill for advocacy, dialogue, and celebration.

Our Values

  • Civil and Religious Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Common Good

The business we're in…
We organize people of faith who hold progressive views to:

  • foster interfaith understanding, communication, and respect;
  • engage as an organization in public advocacy;
  • equip members to be public advocates; and
  • celebrate our diverse religious traditions and what we have in common.

Board Members

Rabbi Benjamin "Jamie" Arnold, President

- Executive Committee
- Rabbi for Congregation Beth Evergreen
- Formerly served Temple Sinai in Buffalo/Amherst, NY, one of the four founding congregations of the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation



Polly Baca, Vice President

- President and CEO of Baca, Barragan, Perez & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in multicultural leadership development, diversity training, motivational presentations, policy development, and governmental relations
- Past President and former CEO of Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA)
- First Hispanic woman elected to Colorado House of Representatives and to the Colorado State Senate
- Past Executive Director of the Colorado Hispanic Institute, a nonprofit institute whose mission was to promote multicultural leadership

Sigrid Higdon, Treasurer

- Executive Committee; Public Policy Commission
- League of Women Voters of Colorado, Legislative Action Committee
- Past Board Member, League of Women Voters of Colorado and League of Women Voters of Jefferson County, CO
- Former Public Information Officer, National Renewable Energy Lab, Golden, CO

Professor Ved P. Nanda, Secretary

- John Evans Distinguished University Professor and Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law
- Director of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law
- Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies and a Trustee of the Iliff School of Theology in Denver
- Member of the advisory council of the United States Institute of Human Rights
- Member of the American Law Institute, on the board of the Human Rights Center of the American Bar Association, and as a council member for the American Bar Association Section of International Law
- Honorary President of the World Jurist Association and Honorary Vice-President of the International Law Association – American Branch
- Formerly the United States Delegate to the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, Geneva, Vice-Chair of its Executive Council, and on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of the United States of America


Rev. Susan BonsallRev. Susan Bonsall

- B.A. University of Colorado, M.A. Rutgers University, trained and ordained by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, NYC
- Currently serves as a supply minister/wedding officiant in Northern Colorado
- Serves on the boards of the Community Resource Center, Community Shares of Colorado, Colorado Environmental Coalition, History Day Colorado, Larimer County Extension
- Master Gardener with Larimer County; plays flute in three groups

James K. Hoffmeister

- Boulder Public Policy Commission; Development Commission
- Founding member of Clean Campaigns Colorado
- President, Test Analysis & Development Corporation, 1971 to present


JoKatherine Holliman Page

- A social worker who has taught around the country, including serving as an assistant clinical professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work.
- Anti-racism trainer for the national Episcopal Church.
- Active community volunteer who has served as a board member with numerous organizations, including:  the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center, the African American Advisory Committee of the Colorado Historical Society, the United Nations Association, and the White Rose Foundation, Denver Chapter of The Links, Inc.

Dilpreet JammuDilpreet Jammu

-Sikh community leader
-Founder, Colorado Sikhs
-Co-Director, The Khalsa School

 


Jim LaurieRev. Dr. Jim Laurie

- Executive Vice-President, Retired, The Samaritan Institute
- Retired Minister, Presbyterian Church, U.S.A
- Former Parish Associate and Moderator of Session, Capital Heights Presbyterian Church in Denver



Darrel Mount Rev. Darrell E. Mount

Interfaith Commission
- Senior Pastor, Retired, Trinity United Methodist Church, Denver
- Former meterologist in the U.S. Air Force and engineer
- Docent, Denver Art Museum



Dr. Maureen McCormack, S.L.

Executive Committee; Chair, Nominating Committee
- National Board and Executive Committee, Interfaith Alliance
- Loretto Earth Network Coordinating Committee
- Eco-Justice Ministries Board
- St. Mary's Academy Board
- Leaven Publication Board
- Member and past National President, the Sisters of Loretto
- Former Dean of Students, Loretto Heights College, Denver, CO

Dr. Aida SahudDr. Aida Sahud

- Former Director of the Nursing Education Program at Adams State College in Alamosa, CO
- Currently teaching Spanish language and culture to middle school and high school students
- Spiritual Director certified by the Monastery of Benedictine Sisters in Colorado Springs



Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

Chair, Public Policy Commission
- Minister of Social Responsibility at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO
- Founding Executive Director of the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits from 1992 to 2002
- Past Board Member for the Mississippi Religious Leaders Conference, the National Council of Nonprofit Associations, the Stanley Foundation (addressing issues of peace and international affairs), Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage

Eric Strader Rev. Eric Strader

- United Methodist Pastor serving four congregations in the University of Denver-area in a cooperative parish ministry
- Strader has a passion for seeing people of faith stand up for the marginalized, oppressed, and voiceless.
- Married to Amy Strader, who serves as the Associate Pastor at Lakewood United Methodist Church.

Rev. Charles Mowry, Board Advisor

Board Advisor; Past President; Executive Committee
- Former full time volunteer as TIA-CO Executive Director
- Former National Executive, United Methodist Church
- First Executive Director, Warren Village


Staff

Jeremy Shaver, Executive Director

Jeremy graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from the Iliff School of Theology in May 2005. He is pursuing ordination in the United Church of Christ and also serves as the Director of Christian Education/Youth Coordinator at Park Hill Congregational Church in Denver. Jeremy began working with the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado during the 2006 election season. He was previously employed as internal communications director for Banner Health System and as a religion reporter for the Greeley Tribune and Scottsbluff Star-Herald.

Rev. Anne Dunlap, Administrative Assistant

Rev. Anne Dunlap is a UCC minister and a graduate of the Iliff School of Theology, and pastors Comunidad Liberación/Liberation Community, a bilingual base community in Aurora, CO. Anne has worked on justice issues, particularly concerning Latin Americans and immigrants, for 20 years, including coordinating a ground-breaking program for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and partner organizations in Mexico/Central America, which sought to replace traditional dependency models of mission with ones of mutuality and justice. She also works in solidarity with Latin American immigrant and refugee communities in the US, advocates for the rights of First Nations peoples and GLBTQ folk, and is a founding member of the Colorado chapter of the Interfaith Worker Justice Committee.

 

In addition to our board and staff, we are pleased to introduce:

Shanan Orndorff, Squeaky Clean Design & Writing:

Shanan is a graphic designer and writer whose background includes working with Colorado nonprofits in the areas of communications, public policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. Shanan designs and edits One Voice, TIA-CO's newsletter, and designed and maintains the TIA-CO website.


Mandy Rigg, Mandy Rigg Consulting, Inc.:

Mandy Rigg has been TIA-CO’s fund raising/organizational development consultant since the summer of 2005. She is working with the Board of Directors and TIA-CO volunteers to build membership, add staff, and create a sound financial base for continued growth.  In addition to her professional work with a variety of nonprofits—primarily those with human service and social change/civil rights missions, Mandy serves on the board of Clinica Campesina, a group of community health clinics serving low-income and uninsured patients.

Commission Chairs

Development Commission – Canon Steward Gregory Movesian
Interfaith Commission – Diana Flahive
Public Policy Commission – Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley
Community Outreach Commission – to be appointed
Communications Commission – To be appointed

Our Supporters

We are grateful to the following financial supporters:

The Denver Foundation
The Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado
Interfaith Alliance (national)
Kenneth King Foundation
Rice Foundation
Wolcott Family Foundation

Interested in becoming a financial supporter? Click here.

In addition, we thank the following supporting congregations:

Arvada United Methodist Church
Calvary Baptist Church of Denver
Cameron Church
Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church
Center for Spiritural Living Denver
Congregation Beth Evergreen
Jefferson Unitarian Church
Lakewood United Methodist Church
Montview Boulevard Presbyterain Church
Park Hill Congregational
Rocky Mountain Conference UCC
St. John's Episcopal Cathedral
St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Interested in becoming a supporting congregation? Click here.

National Interfaith Alliance