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Shifting the conversation from problems to possibilities

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the spring/summer issue of the University of Denver Magazine. Just as this time of year is filled with anticipation—whether for new blooms or warm days—our editorial focus is on DU’s future-focused commitment to the public good, which permeates much of the work we do—as students, faculty, staff and alumni. That commitment brings with it the strong possibility of better outcomes for us all. 

In Peter Block’s book, “Community,” he acknowledges that building community in a culture based on “individualism, competition and autonomy” is difficult work. Becoming an exemplar in having a positive impact on the public good really is about building a sense of community and belonging. 

Our “Fast Fashion” package, offers a personal essay by student Ambriel Speagle about, among other things, Denver’s vintage stores and the reason for them: combatting the overproduction and overconsumption of clothing, which leads to tons of landfill waste, as well as air and water pollution. Here on campus, alumna Kayla Fatemi-Badi (BA ’22), now a graduate student at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, founded an on-campus thrift store when she was an undergraduate. Operated by the DU Center for Sustainability, the store is a declaration and an example of ethical fashion and sustainable consumption practices. For me, thrifting has always been a way of life. Growing up in a multigenerational household, we practiced sustainability through our frequent practice of sharing clothes among family and friends. 

When you read “DU on the Bench,” you’ll meet four judges, all alumni of the Sturm College of Law, serving the Vail Municipal Court, 18th Judicial District (Douglas County), U.S. District Court (Colorado) and the Colorado Supreme Court. You’ll discover that each of them, though they face their own distinct on-the-bench challenges, share skills and principles, all honed at DU, that inform their work. 

Throughout the magazine, you’ll read about DU’s influence on the public good, whether it’s a professor illuminating the challenges and rewards of teaching ethics or a trauma-informed therapist and alumna whose healing work has helped guide many on their path to recovery. The books featured this spring are just as varied, from a nonfiction title sharing a science-backed approach to decision-making to a groundbreaking book on reinventing the approach to supply chain management to a children’s book aimed at sparking curiosity and confidence in girls.

According to Block, community happens when we shift our conversations from problems to possibilities. This edition of the magazine is full of such stories.

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