Today on Extraordinary Women Radio, I’m excited to bring you the very extraordinary Velveta GoLightly Howell , a Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame 2020 Inductee and Life-Long Champion for Social Justice and Advocacy.
In this episode:
- Listen in on how Velveta’s path was set out to fight against racial discrimination at an early age of 6 years old
- Velveta’s encounter with a police officer that sparked her own to crusade for equality
- Appreciate how Velveta saw individual differences but also saw the equality in people
- What continues to drive Velveta to fight for equality and social justice
- The achievement that Velveta is proud of the most
- Some leadership tips to help you excel as a leader
- What we can do as individuals to help the country and make a difference
- Velveta’s message to the world
Velveta Howell has made many contributions as a life-long champion for social justice and advocacy. She is known as an exceptional role model for other African American women and girls. She was the eighth African American female graduate of the University of Colorado Law School and the first woman of color appointed as Colorado’s Deputy District Attorney. From her humble beginnings, she has worked tirelessly at the local, state, regional, and federal levels to advance the causes closest to her, succeeding in the fiercely competitive and often brutal world of criminal justice.
Through creative, solid, and sustainable policies, practices, and procedures, Howell designed roadmaps to enhance others’ lives, especially society’s most vulnerable. Her ability to visualize and eliminate impediments to social justice, equipped her to tear down barriers and increase access to social, civil, and criminal justice, quality and equal healthcare, clean water, affordable housing, food, and other critical services for people of all backgrounds.. Howell attributes her success to integrity, compassionfor all people, and an unrelenting commitment to justice. This determination has resulted in a succession of women, especially women of color, following her into this still male-dominated arena. Today, many African American prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys in Colorado are inspired
and/or personally mentored by her.
Howell has worked to improve access to quality healthcare to all Colorado citizens, particularly under-served populations. She is one of twelve appointees to the Robert Wood Johnson-funded Colorado Healthcare Reform Executive Steering Committee and Turning Point Initiative . She is also the driver behind the committee’s focus on racial and ethnic healthcare disparities. This focus has resulted in the establishment and legislative enactment of the Colorado Office of Health Disparities , only the nation’s second.
“I had a purpose and God has plans that I would live out and that I would be strengthened and supported no matter the barriers.” – Velveta GoLightly Howell
Connect with Velveta Howell on LinkedIn.
Let’s meet Velveta GoLightly Howell!
The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame mission is to inspire by celebrating and sharing the enduring contributions of Colorado’s distinctive women. To achieve this, the Hall educates the people of Colorado about the stories of the women who shaped our state and the nation’s history with courage, leadership, intelligence, compassion, and creativity. Their talents, skills, struggles, and contributions form a legacy that the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame is dedicated to protecting. I invite you to join us at the March 18, 2020 Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame 2020 Inductee Gala by purchasing your ticket here.
Watch for five additional interviews in the coming months of the 2020 Inductee Hall of Famers:
- Katherine Archuleta – Archuleta was appointed as the first Latina to lead the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in in 2013 by President Barack Obama, overseeing a budget of roughly $250 million and managing human resources for the federal government’s 2 million employees. Archuleta also served as chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña, where she strived toward justice and equality through her direct influence on policy at the state and national level.
- Lupe Briseño – Briseño made waves within Colorado’s Labor Movement after organizing the Kitayama Carnation Strike—the women-led social movement in 1969 at the Kitamaya floral plant in Brighton, which centered on demands for worker’s rights, especially in regard to the treatment of female workers. Her demonstration of leadership in the fight for civil and labor rights, social justice, and feminism played a pivotal role in the Colorado Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and ’70s.
- Rosalind “Bee” Harris – Harris shifted the Colorado media landscape when she founded the Denver Urban Spectrum in 1987 — a monthly publication built to elevate the stories of communities of color and highlight the voices that were not otherwise reflected in mainstream media. Harris also went on to found the Urban Spectrum Youth Foundation in 2000 as a journalism mentoring program for 11- to 17-year-olds.
- Marianne Neifert, MD, MTS – In the late 1970s, Neifert was the first U.S. physician to promote the routine use of modern breastfeeding technologies and helped establish the then-burgeoning field of breastfeeding medicine. In 1984, she co-founded the Mothers’ Milk Bank—the nation’s largest nonprofit human milk bank. In 1990, she co-founded the Colorado Breastfeeding Task Force (which later became the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition) with a mission to educate and advocate for the practice, and later co-founded the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine in 1994.
- Gale Norton – LISTEN TO HER INTERVIEW Gale become the first woman elected Attorney General of Colorado – at a time when only two women had previously held the office of state Attorney General anywhere in the country. She achieved another first when she was appointed Secretary of the US Department of the Interior – the first female leader in the Department’s 150-year history. In that role, Norton was responsible for managing over 20% of the land area of the United States, a Fortune-500-sized budget, and a workforce of 70,000 employees. Norton led efforts that resolved 70-year-old interstate disputes on the Colorado River and instituted a west-wide water conservation program. She championed the President’s Healthy Forest Initiative and Cooperative Conservation.
Listen to other Colorado Women Hall of Fame inductee interviews from prior years.