Colorado State University - Pueblo features cultural activist/actor for MLK celebration

Colorado State University - Pueblo features cultural activist/actor for MLK celebration

PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo will celebrate the 4th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Monday, January 16 with a community organizer, performer, producer, and exhibitor from New York. The event is FREE but seating is limited. The event is sponsored by the Diversity Resource Center and the Black Student Organization.

Fatima Cortez-Todd will be the featured speaker at the breakfast, which begins at 8 a.m. on Jan. 16 in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom. Reservations are required by Jan. 13 through LaNeeca Williams at or 719-549-2210.

Cortez-Todd hails from an activist family and has devoted herself to being a cultural activist with experience as a community organizer, performer, producer, exhibitor and healer. She created the first Art and Play therapy program for “bad boys” at Lincoln Hospital Mental Health Services of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the South Bronx, NY. In 1982, she founded the Mariposa Center for Spiritual Healing and Education to teach people how to use the tools of therapy and share that skill with others.  She has conducted national workshops including “Fearless Women Learning to Fly” which encouraged women to overcome fear as their obstacle to growth and self-determination. For four summers she taught Public Speaking to 1-12th graders in the LA Harbor College “Kids Go to College” program. 

As an actor, Fatima toured nationally and regionally with the Rhode Island Feminist Theater as well as the Family Repertory Theater Company of NY.  She was the Artistic Director for the Village Theater at Lucy Florence Cultural Center where she co-Produced, co-directed and acted in the two one-act program “Influences of the Spirit”, produced “Armstrong’s Kid” written by and starring Stanley Bennett Clay,  “The Island” starring Tony Todd, directed Rose Weaver's “Menopause Mama,” Nick LaTour's “Spirit in the Wind,” a staged reading of Bill McKenzie’s “Maxwell’s Serenade”, and created the “Afternoon in the Park” series, which commenced with Raza Burgee's documentary “50 on a Woman Ain't What It Used to Be.”

As Executive Director of San Francisco Women in Film and Television Festival, she created and produced two international Film Festivals in 1990 and 1991.  She was associate artistic director of Los Angeles Women in Film and Television Festival LA Women in Film Festival 1989 – showcasing 92 international film premieres - responsible for all aspects of film selection and programming at the Directors’ Guild of America.  As film librarian and distribution program associate for the American Film Institute, she provided films for AFI classes and staff programming, edited trailers and marketed student films to the U.S., European short film market
and A&E network.

Co founder of a federally funded program in the performing arts for 16 21 year olds in Connecticut, she was assistant to the director of the HBO all star music video crack is wack.  Director of the Acting Out Teen Theater, she wrote and produced the rap rock music video “5 out of 5” by/for teens on sexual assault which was recommended by the American Library Association for young audiences and was internationally distributed with Women Make Movies for 14 years.
Among her many honors include recognition by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, former Speaker of the House of California, Willie Brown, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP; recognition by the NYC Task Force Against Sexual Assault, the LA Weekly as “local hero” for co-founding the Multicultural Alliance for Reproductive Rights and by the Smithsonian Institute as “living history” for her civil rights work with Louisiana CORE for which she recently received the Key to the City of Jonesboro, LA and continues to be a member of the Civil Rights Veterans website Speakers Bureau giving the keynote at the Scripps MLK Scholarship Ceremony January 2010 and participating for the past 10 years in interviews, speaking to classes and being part of documentaries.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.