Voices from the Past: Richard Conway
To commemorate our 20th anniversary, Citizens Project invites former board and staff members to submit reflections on CP for inclusion in Freedom Watch Online and associated anniversary print collateral. If you’re interested in contributing, please contact us.
I fell in love with Southern Colorado the first time I visited 35 years ago and moved to Colorado Springs shortly thereafter. Since then, I’ve thought that any city lucky enough to have been settled in such a stunning location should be spectacular in its own right.
I believed that was an attainable goal for Colorado Springs when I moved here in 1980. By the early 1990s, however, there were a growing number of intolerant groups and individuals in the community who were working to subvert the traditional American values of equality and freedom of religion by denying these rights to those who disagreed with their points of view.
Enter Citizen Project, whose founder Amy Divine envisioned a community that respects and nurtures all who inhabit it. Established in 1992, support for Citizens Project (CP) was immediate and overwhelming. Its grassroots approach to community-building spread quickly around the region, promoting thoughtful discussions among diverse groups of individuals about issues that affected everyone.
Throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium – a particularly divisive time in Colorado Springs’ and the nation’s history – CP worked tirelessly to bridge the community’s political and cultural divides. Its Food for Thought dinners, Community Forums about the separation of church and state, and popular Voters’ Guide publications ensured every stakeholder had a seat at the table.
I joined Citizens Project 15 years ago because I was inspired by its vision. Colorado Springs needed CP then. It still does. No other local non-profit organization works as hard or has been as successful at showing us that there is beauty and strength in our diversity and that regardless of our differences, we all pretty much want the exact same thing: to be free to realize our full potential. Toward that end, Citizens Project benefits you and me and everyone in Colorado Springs.
Thank you, Citizens Project! And congratulations on 20 great years!
Board Chair, 1998-2002