Health Equity Team

The Health Equity Learning Series (HELS) is an educational program of The Colorado Trust.  HELS includes one component that aims to increase knowledge and awareness of health equity through presentations from experts who discuss factors that increase disparities as well as solutions that advance health equity.  The other component of HELS is Community Leaders in Health Equity (CLHE), an 18-month social justice leadership program focusing on the connection between anti-oppression principles and health (in)equity.  The Colorado Trust has contracted with Transformative Alliances LLC to develop curriculum for, provide facilitation to, and lead CLHE.  Below is the Transformative Alliances LLC team:

Picture of Dara BurwellDara Burwell, Principal Trainer (she/her/hers)

Dara Burwell is the founder and Co-President of Transformative Alliances LLC.  She has formally worked as an anti-oppression and equity consultant for thirteen (13) years, and has guided trainings, discussion groups, and other anti-oppression activities for nineteen (19) years.  She has designed and conducted several hundred workshops for thousands of participants, facilitated anti-oppression planning sessions, provided executive and group coaching, facilitated caucuses/discussion groups, conducted assessments and evaluations, and developed tailored and specialized curricula.  Dara’s work has encompassed both continuing and short-term projects, customized to suit each organization, and is specifically trained in Theater of the Oppressed and Community Counseling techniques.  For more information about Dara, click here.


Regan Byrd, Equity-Based Project Manager & Event Coordinator (she/her/hers)

Regan Byrd is the founder and principal consultant at Regan Byrd Consulting LLC, and is an award-winning anti-oppression trainer, consultant, activist, and speaker who has trained dozens of organizations and over a thousand participants on anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-sexism, allyship, transformative justice, and organizational development. Regan is also a seasoned nonprofit professional with over 13 years of experience in grassroots and social justice non-profit organizations, formerly working for the Arc of Jefferson County, 9to5 Colorado: National Association of Working Women, Hunger Free Colorado, the Bell Policy Center, and the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. Regan currently serves as treasurer of the board for the Colorado People’s Alliance, was formerly the co-chair of the board for 9to5 Colorado for 10 years, and is a legacy board member with Womxn’s March Denver. Regan has a deep commitment to social justice, institutional systems change, and collective liberation. She believes this is best done through self-reflexivity, strong allyship, knowledge cultivation, intentional inclusivity, coalition building, and dismantling systems of oppression.

Headshot of Sophia ClarkSophia Clark, Technical Assistant & CLHE Facilitator (she/her/hers)

Sophia was born and raised in western Colorado, where she has also lived most of her adult life.  She has over 10 years of rural community organizing experience around solidarity with immigrant communities. For five years, she worked at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition with a focus on statewide policy and deportation resistance. Locally, she has been part of grassroots organizing efforts for over a decade and more recently supported the establishment of a sanctuary congregation. Sophia is also trained in Theatre of the Oppressed and has extensive experience in facilitation. In addition to being deeply committed to changing systemic oppression, Sophia is a professional musician (her band is called Let Them Roar), and works as a medical interpreter. She loves hot springs, hanging with friends and family, reading, and being outdoors.


Image of Andy CocoAndy Coco, Technical Assistance Supervisor & CLHE Facilitator (they/them/theirs)

After a formative 15 years in Colorado, Andy moved back home to the South in 2020. Now residing in Austin, Texas, Andy will continue work with Transformative Alliances remotely and in person. Andy’s community organizing interests span anti-racism, feminism and anti-sexism, LGBTQIA wellness, transformative justice, nonhuman animal rights, and more. Andy’s work experiences include group facilitation; individual coaching; program evaluation; internal structure and process streamlining; and service accessibility improvement. Andy completed a restoration ecology Masters program through Colorado State University (2020) after finding new and abundant inspiration in the natural world outside the built environment.


Headshot of Hilda GehrkeHilda Gehrke, CLHE Facilitator (she/her/hers)

Embodying a number of skill sets, Hilda is a Social Leadership Coach, facilitator and trainer, and interpreter who migrated from Mexico in 1996.  Hilda graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Regis University in 2016, and established herself as a Certified Newfield Coach (NCC) in 2018.  She is a member of the Colorado chapter of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) with more than 150 hours of coaching experience.  An accredited Family Leadership Training Institute Facilitator (FLTI), Hilda combines her personal and professional experiences to make her trainings highly interactive and introspective. Hilda is a facilitator for the Jeffco FLTI cohort and has done projects such as a 7 month training curriculum on community leadership with Adelante Jeffco and hosting peer-to-peer mentoring and problem solving sessions known as mastermind groups.  Hilda has also been a professional interpreter (Spanish and English) for more than 9 years in a variety of settings.

Nicole Hurt HeadshotNicole Hurt, Principal Trainer (he/him/his & she/her/hers)

Nicole is the Co-President of Transformative Alliances LLC.  He brings over 25 years of social justice and community organizing experience to her work as an anti-oppression trainer, consultant, and coach.  He works with communities, individuals, and organizations, and has conducted trainings, workshops, classes, assessments, evaluations, planning processes, organizational development work, curricular development, individual and group coaching sessions, identity-based caucus work, and other customized consulting services.  Nicole is also a trained Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner.  Nicole’s activism has been most rooted in solidarity/coalition work, with an emphasis on immigrant rights, economic justice, and anti-racist organizing (in both LGBTQ and broader communities). She has worked in collaboration with professional colleagues, a range of activist groups across the country, and community members to lead campaigns for health care reform, police accountability, and equal language access in voting, to name a few.  For more information about Nicole, click here.

Image of ZyshaunZyshaun Jackson, CLHE Facilitator (he/him/his)

Zyshaun Jackson was born and raised in Colorado Springs and has lived there his whole life.  At 22 years old, Zyshaun works to represent and advocate for youth and families in El Paso County.  He embraces always speaking up to make sure that systems respond to their needs.  Part of Zyshaun’s advocacy has included sitting on national and local county boards, speaking about and running a nationwide training on Restorative Justice, and planning to start many businesses to continue the fight to help oppressed communities.  Zyshaun is passionate about his own personal as well as societal growth.


Image of MacMac Liman, CLHE Facilitator & Continuing Track Coach (she/her/hers)

Mac Liman was born and raised in Colorado. She is passionate about organizing people around privileged identities — especially young people who, like her, have class privilege.  She is honored to have done this work with beautiful cross-class, multiracial communities since 2005 with Resource Generation and since 2007 with the Chinook Fund. In addition to training, facilitating, and moving her people towards collective action, Mac is a bicycle mechanic (so she also has tangible tasks that can be fixed with her hands).  Mac lives with many of her favorite people in a shared community home and likes being a good neighbor, asking questions, and telling stories that expose the myth of the U.S. meritocracy.


Picture of Joy LujanJoy Lujan, 4×4 and CLHE Facilitator (she/her/hers)

Joy is the founder and principal of Connected Realities, LLC. She has over 20 years experience as a passionate and effective community planner and collaboration specialist with a focus on effective communication and conflict transformation. Joy is an experienced facilitator, mediator, and trainer who assists nonprofit organizations, businesses, local governments, and other groups.  Joy’s commitment is to help people find and use their inner power, potential, and passion to make positive changes in their lives, and help people translate individual power into collective action through collaboration. Her passion is about bringing people together to hear and understand each other and to work together to create solutions that last. Joy employs the skills of radical listening, shared understanding, and respectful dialogue to facilitate a shift in the process by which people have conversations about complex issues.

Image of Emily Shamsid-DeenEmily Shamsid-Deen, 4×4 and CLHE Facilitator (she/her/hers)

Emily is the Owner and Principal of ESD Consulting, which provides facilitation and consultation services to help organizations create equity based, values driven change through transformational leadership practices. Emily brings over 17 years of experience in the nonprofit sector from direct services to equity driven advocacy work. She has experience managing a statewide progressive leadership development program for individuals working to advance social justice and has helped develop programs specifically for human service nonprofits around nonpartisan voter engagement and advocacy.  Emily facilitates a wide variety of trainings for nonprofits from strategic planning to racial equity. She also taught as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Denver in the Graduate School of Social Work teaching social welfare policy analysis and practice. Regardless of her role, Emily approaches all her work with a social justice framework. The heart of Emily’s work has always been rooted in equity and compassion and grounded in values of justice and the common good.

Image of LynneLynne Sprague, CLHE Trainer & Lead Facilitator (she/her/hers)

Lynne brings over 20 years of social justice and community organizing experience to her work as an Anti-Oppression trainer and consultant. Lynne has  worked extensively with community groups on building and advancing intersectional and liberatory frameworks. Lynne served as the Co-Executive Director at Survivors Organizing for Liberation (SOL), an organization that fought for safety and justice for LGBTQIA survivors of violence.  Prior to SOL, Lynne was the Director at a domestic violence safehouse and under her leadership the organization changed their gender-based policy to include survivors of all genders while expanding their framework to include a social justice lens. Lynne is also passionate about communities addressing harm using transformative justice models that allow us to bring our creativity and collective wisdom to our interpersonal care. Lynne is back home in Austin, Texas, and divides her time between consulting and her work as a veterinary nurse, so she can often be found covered in animal fur, surrounded by as many animals as possible.

Image of Theresa TrujilloTheresa Trujillo, Continuing Track Coach (she/her/hers)

Theresa is a community organizer with decades of experience in facilitation, deepening community engagement, and campaign management. She understands that community organizing is something we build and create – it does not just magically happen. She relies on the power of storytelling and relationship building as a means of transformation. Theresa’s passion for power building within marginalized communities has guided her to engage in disciplined, strategic practices to build democratic and collective power, and to assure conditions in which a community can thrive. Her activism is rooted in her local community and she deeply appreciates the unique opportunity to organize in the community where she was born and raised.  When she’s not fist-pumping for a local cause, Theresa can be found whipping up simple meals in the kitchen or curled up with a good book.