By Soyon Bueno, University of Colorado Denver
On April 1, the Auraria campus hosted the first Diversity Career Networking event, a collaborative partnership with the tri-institutions and local chambers of commerce. The purpose of the events was to help culturally diverse students understand the strengths and skills they bring to our global economy and to expand their social networks. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock opened the event with inspiring words about the importance of networking and emphasized “it is not just who you know but also what you know.” He encouraged students to continue to learn and grow and to be prepared for a more global market.
In a packed room, the keynote speaker Judge Kerry Hada addressed students, staff and community leaders on the importance of being resilient, resolute and resourceful. Judge Hada shared his personal story about growing up in southern Colorado picking melons, going to college at University of Colorado Boulder, serving his country as an elite Army Ranger, earning his master’s and law degrees, and becoming the only Asian American judge in the state of Colorado.
He shared his personal experiences of hostility and racism but also explained how he became motivated to show that his ethnicity and culture made him a unique individual with exceptional experiences, skills and capabilities. Judge Hada emphasized the importance of eliminating the artificial boundaries and barriers that keep individuals from communicating with others who are vastly different and who may not necessarily share the same culture, religion, or ethnicity. Judge Hada inspired the crowd!