Representation matters. "It's hard to be what you can’t see," says Marian Wright Edelman, meaning that people from marginalized groups may be hesitant to pursue career or academic opportunities when they are not made aware of such possibilities.

This video series spotlights trailblazers who are breaking boundaries in their fields. Each month, we'll feature new Q&A sessions with special guests, focusing on the importance of inclusion and representation in science and policy today in order to inspire future generations and bring attention to the barriers preventing participation. 


Disclosure statement: The Institute for Science & Policy is committed to publishing diverse perspectives in order to advance civil discourse and productive dialogue. Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Institute, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, or its affiliates.

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Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod shares insights from her career in policy and her life after being elected in 2016 as the first LGBTQ African American in the Colorado General Assembly. She serves as the Chair of the House Finance Committee, Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Chair of the Committee on Legal Services. Rep. Herod also chairs the Colorado Black Democratic Legislative Caucus and the Arts Caucus.

Dr. Melissa Burt is an accomplished atmospheric scientist as well as the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University. She chats with us about encouraging social justice in STEM, making scientific environments more inclusive, balancing family life with a career, and her ongoing mentorship of young scientists.

Lola Spradley is the former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, the first woman elected to that role. During her time in the legislature, the Republican from Beulah navigated challenges and forged compromises on bills involving drought, wildfires, and health insurance. Prior to serving, Spradley had a successful career at AT&T and remains active in her community today. We asked her where she finds sources of motivation and what advice she'd impart to up-and-coming decision-makers today.

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