Scott Levin, Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
Scott Levin is the Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Mountain States Region of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. He assumed this position in 2010 after retiring from nearly 30 years as a trial attorney. Scott is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of George Washington University and graduated from the University of Denver College of Law.
Prior to becoming part of ADL’s professional staff, he was a member of its Board of Directors and the recipient of its 2010 Torch of Liberty Award. Scott is a member of the State of Colorado’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the City and County of Denver’s Equity and Reconciliation Taskforce, and has been the Chair and/or member of several non-profit boards, including the MSU of Denver Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, the Denver Jewish Day School, JEWISH Colorado, Stepping Stones to a Jewish Me, and Temple Emanuel.
Scott is a frequent speaker and writer on civil rights issues. He has authored many articles, is regularly interviewed by local media, and has testified on numerous occasions before legislatures on issues pertaining to equality, diversity, inclusion and educational opportunities for all.
Imam Muhammad Kolila, Executive Director, Denver Islamic Society, Masjid Al Shuhada
Muhammad is a community leader and activist in education, charity, peace building, interfaith partnerships, community development, projects management and spirituality. Muhammad has a MA in Religious Studies, from the University of Denver, and has a B.A in Translation Studies and Linguistics.
He has ten years of work experience in educational institutions and is currently the Imam of Masjid Al Shuhada’, Downtown Denver Islamic Center as well as the Principal and Executive Director at Denver Islamic Society.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Mayes, President, Greater Metropolitan Ministerial Alliance
Dr. Mayes serves as President of the Greater Metropolitan Ministerial Alliance. In 1990, he founded the Living Water Christian Center and E.S.C.A.P.E. (Everyone Sharing Child Abuse Prevention Education). A Diamond Life member of the NAACP, Dr. Mayes is Chair of the Aurora Branch’s Religious Affairs committee as well as the Chair of the Rocky Mountain Conference’s religious affairs committee. He is a Certified Facilitator with Strong African American Family and a Certified John Maxwell Leadership Speaker, Coach, Mentor and Trainer. He is the recipient of Clergy of the year and Volunteer of the year 2006-2007. Dr. Mayes authored the book “The Brilliance of Ignorance”.
He has partnered with the Aurora Police numerous times to facilitate conversations with the community following cases of racial bias and controversial police shootings, provide recommendations for police reform, and be an advocate for witnesses. Dr. Mayes continues to work tirelessly to fight anti-semitism, racial bias and injustice.
Dr. Thomas Mayes holds a Bachelors in Theology and a PhD in Urban Ministries. He is a Colorado native, Vietnam Veteran, husband of 44 years, father of four children and eight grandchildren.
Elder AJ McDonald, Church of God in Christ
Born to Bishop W.H. McDonald and First Lady Janice McDonald, is a graduate of Overland High School, Aurora, CO and received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Psychology from Hastings College, where he starred in football and baseball.
Professionally, he worked for the Colorado Department of Corrections for 26 years and retired from the Assessment & Classification Division at the rank of Lieutenant. During his tenure he’s worked in various capacities to include the Emergency Response Team.
In 2002, Minister AJ McDonald was ordained as an Elder. In 2012, Elder McDonald was elevated by the Colorado Ecclesiastical Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Roosevelt Dunn to the position of Jurisdictional AIM Chairman. Chairman McDonald previously served as the Rocky Mountain District AIM Chairman under the leadership of his father who was the Superintendent at that time. He also directed the Odom Memorial Community Drug Bust Ministry and weekly radio broadcast reaching thousands over the airways. The Drug Bust Ministry received acknowledgment and funds from the Business and Professional Women’s Federation during the 2005 International COGIC Women’s Convention. He currently serves as the Assistant Pastor of Odom Memorial Church of God in Christ under Bishop W.H. McDonald.
Gov. Jared Polis
Governor Jared Polis is an entrepreneur, education leader, public servant, and Colorado native. After launching several successful companies, including one out of his college dorm room, Polis committed himself to making sure other Coloradans had the opportunity to pursue their dreams. Polis founded schools for at-risk students and new immigrants and started nonprofits to help veterans and entrepreneurs.
Prior to serving as Governor, Polis served on the State Board of Education where he worked to raise pay for teachers and reduce class size for students, and represented Colorado’s 2nd Congressional district, where he was rated the most effective member of the Colorado delegation.
As Governor, Polis has focused on saving Coloradans money, keeping our economy strong, and preserving our Colorado way of life. Polis delivered universal free full-day kindergarten, signed a number of bills to save families money on health care, and made significant progress towards the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040, all while cutting taxes for small businesses and investing in affordable housing and transportation. His efforts to expand health care access to medically underserved communities and to ensure that equity and justice remain central to building a Colorado for All have produced impactful legislation and made progress toward his administration’s bold vision.
Shara Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Shara Smith (she/her) is the Chief Executive Officer of The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. She joined the Alliance in 2021 after serving as the Executive Director of Pacem in Terris. Shara began her career in academia, managing programs at institutions like MIT, Boston University, the University of Arizona, and a teaching affiliate for Harvard Medical School.
Several years prior, Shara launched a digital media outlet that focused on the news of the day from a working-class perspective. Under her leadership, readership topped more than one million unique readers and was cited by 50+ local and national media outlets across the country.
Shara is a speaker and writer on issues related to social justice. Her article on White Feminism examined the nuance of privilege and oppression within anti-oppression movements. It garnered praise from anti-oppression activists, academics, and community leaders across the country.
Shara’s work in the community includes serving on the Denver Rezoning Task Force, the Social Health Information Exchange Community Board, the City and County of Denver Sheriff’s Department Independent Monitor Community Board, as well as the Energy Affordability Coalition.
Rev. Dr. Jenny Whitcher, Pastor, Juniper Formation, United Church of Christ
Rev. Dr. Jenny Whitcher, Ph.D. (she/her) is the Minister of Prophetic Formation and co-founder of Juniper Formation, an entrepreneurial and ecumenical faith community of the United Church of Christ (UCC), with the mission of “prophetically reimagining the Church from the margins.”
Jenny is an entrepreneurial minister, community organizer, theologian, and artist committed to liberation for all people. She has over 20 years of experience coaching and mentoring leaders, teaching, and developing community partnerships. Her work spans nonprofit, congregations, and higher education. Her areas of expertise include: change management; entrepreneurial and prophetic ministry formation; democratic culture, leadership, and pedagogy; and social change theory and practice.
She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC), with a B.A. from New York University, an M.A. in International Human Rights from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in Religion and Theological Studies from Iliff School of Theology & University of Denver.