Lisa Duran

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Lisa Duran

Lisa Duran is Executive Director at Grassroots Grantmakers She had previouslyserved since 2003 as the founding Executive Director of Rights for All People, an organizing project that bring the voices immigrants to the struggle for justice for all Colorado unions. She has also led the establishment and development of the Aurora Human Rights Center. Other current positions include serving as the faculty coach for the Center for Progressive Leadership and representing RAP nationally at National People’s Action.

She is a co-founder of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition. She has received the Swanee Hunt Individual Leadership Award, the Caeser E Chavez Award from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Immigrant Liberty Award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigrant Lawyers Association, and the Ralph L. Card Awards from the Colorado ACLU.[1]

Lisa Duran has worked for over 30 years in the nonprofit sector and grassroots social justice work. She served as Executive Director of Grassroots Grantmakers, a national membership organization of foundations and other funders working to lift up grassroots voices and leadership in philanthropy.

From 1995 to 2014, she worked with Rights for All People, Colorado’s first immigrant-led immigrant rights organization based in Aurora, Colorado. After eight years as a volunteer, Lisa became its first executive director for 11 years. In 2015, RAP merged with the Colorado Progressive Coalition and became Colorado People’s Alliance, continuing the legacy of progressive change established by both organizations. While at RAP, Lisa also led the establishment of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Her prior experience includes serving as Executive Director of the Clinica Tepayac, bringing culturally appropriate health care and preventive health services to the medically underserved in the Denver region; work with the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training and the Labor/Community Strategy Center; and volunteer service with The Highlander Research and Education Center in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Building Movement Project. Lisa's graduate studies included a focus on philanthropy, foundations, race, and social movements. In her organizing work, she developed popular education practices that stress the co-creation of knowledge, the importance of participant stories in building relationships, and the necessity to productively address imbalances of power and privilege.[2]

Lisa Duran lives in Denver, Colorado, and is is married to James Johnson.


Resist Prop 187


Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Forward Motion published an article in their January 1995 issue from Lisa Duran, Bill Gallegos, Eric Mann, and Glenn Omatsu "Prop 187 - where do we go from here?"

Colorado Jobs with Justice


Colorado Jobs with Justice Workers Rights board as of 2014;

Labor/Community Strategy Center

The first three Labor/Community Strategy Center organizers were Chris Mathis, a Black autoworker from the GM plant, Lisa Duran, a Latina college affirmative action officer, and Kikanza Ramsey, a Black recent college graduate. In 1992 the Strategy Center formed the Bus Riders Union, a breakthrough movement of Black, Latin@ and Korean bus riders that generated a multi-racial organization with dynamic tri-lingual working class culture. After the 1992 Urban Rebellion in Los Angeles our Urban Strategies Group published Reconstructing Los Angeles and US Cities from the Bottom Up—in which we called for massive re-investment in South Central and massive divestment from the LAPD—“the social welfare state not the police state.”