nancy hernandez

Nancy Hernandez

Board Chair
Nancy was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and attended Colorado College where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.  After working in various Denver nonprofits, including the Gill Foundation, Clinica Tepeyac and the Colorado Parent Information and Resource Center, she went on to earn a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at Regis University.  Nancy served for seven years as a Program Officer with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund where she provided outreach and retention services to students and helped families navigate the higher education process.  Nancy is currently a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership, Research and Policy Program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.  She is also the Community and Education Facilitator for Adams 50.  She develops and delivers programs and presentations to inform and engage families on postsecondary and workforce opportunities available to their students.

In her spare time, Nancy supports the Keeping the Dream Alive Conference that provides information on how to help undocumented students who want to go to college.  She is a Board member of the Chinook Fund, and she is co-president and one of three co-founders for the Colorado College Alumni and Students of Color Association (CCASCA).


Anaya Robinson

Board Treasurer
Originally from Michigan, Anaya Robinson now calls Denver home. He has served two AmeriCorps terms performing hands on service in various communities, rebuilding homes for low-income homeowners in Denver and doing beetle kill removal and fuels mitigation in forests around the Front Range. Currently, Anaya continues his dedication to public service through working with the Denver Regional Council of Governments, Area Agency on Aging providing options counseling for individuals living in 47 skilled nursing facilities in the Denver Metro area who wish to explore their options to move back into the community. His passion for working with the Chinook Fund is driven by his desire to support some of the most radical social justice organizations, programs, and movements in his community, continuing to dismantle systems of privilege and oppression in anti-oppressive and trauma informed ways. Outside of this work, he can be found enjoying the mountains and cuddling with his dog.


Brenda Sears

Convinced that everyone should have the opportunity to make the choices that will lead to a long and healthy life, Brenda has dedicated her life to partnering with vulnerable populations to improve their health and well-being. Brenda began her career developing and implementing health education programs but quickly found that institutional and systemic oppression was a powerful and difficult barrier to health for many populations. Brenda has been impressed and inspired by the work the Chinook Fund has done around social justice and hopes to build skills that will allow her to advance and promote diversity, inclusiveness, equity and anti-oppression in the many nonprofits she works with as a program officer for the Colorado Health Foundation. In this role, Brenda reviews grant applications from organizations that improve access to nutritious food, physical activity, disease management tools, and quality health care. Her expertise includes strategic planning, program coordination, nonprofit management, grant writing, and program evaluation. Brenda is a Chicago native who received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Public Health from Yale University. In her free time, Brenda enjoys losing herself in a good book.


Courtney Banayad

Courtney Banayad lived in numerous places across the United States and abroad before making Colorado her home six years ago. She is currently the Senior Foundation Partnerships Manager at Global Greengrants Fund, a public charity based in Boulder, Colorado that seeds grassroots action for environmental sustainability and social justice around the world. She also serves on the Board of Directors for two organizations in her local community and recently completed a year-long inclusive leadership fellowship with The Community Foundation and Boulder Chamber.

Prior to joining Global Greengrants Fund, Courtney was involved in the anti-human trafficking movement in Colorado, U.S. foreign diplomacy in Finland, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in Texas. She holds an M.A. in International and Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver and bachelor’s degrees in American Studies and Ethnic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. In her free time, Courtney enjoys Colorado’s sunshine, collecting unique postcards, and traveling both near and far.


Mac Liman

Mac was born and raised in the 1% in Colorado.  She began volunteering with the Chinook Fund in 2006 after discovering that many of the fiercest organizations in Colorado have been funded by Chinook and learning that Chinook has deep roots in the process of shifting resources AND decision-making power to grassroots social justice organizers.

Mac has been teaching bicycle mechanics and repairing old bikes in Denver since 2003.  She lives in a shared community home with 10 of her favorite people and in her spare time she likes being a good neighbor, asking questions, and telling stories that expose the myth of the US meritocracy. Mac co-organizes a local Resource Generation chapter in Denver/Boulder and works with fellow young people with class privilege to raise taxes on ourselves and our families to fund public social programs through Resource Generation’s National Tax Justice Campaign.

ken stern

Ken Stern

Ken is a Senior Partner at the Immigration Law firm of Stern and Curray. He has been a lawyer for over 35 years and his practice encompasses all areas of immigration law.Ken received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in 1974.  He received a law degree from the University of Denver in 1978.  Ken has been named “Best of the Bar” in immigration law by the Denver Business Journal and Law Week Colorado and has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since the inception of that publication. Ken is regularly listed in 5280 Magazine as one of Denver’s top lawyers in the field of immigration law.

Ken has received a lifetime achievement award from the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and received the prestigious Jack Wasserman award from the national organization.

Ken has been active in the community serving on the boards of many non-profit organizations. Ken and his wife Linda founded a free English Language Program which served the community of many years.

Ken has been active with the Chinook Fund for over 20 years, serving on committees, the board, and the executive committee. He co-created the Chinook Social Justice Leadership Learning Community and was an active participant in Chinook’s anti-oppression training.  He recently rejoined the Board after a respite for a few years.


DeQuan Mack

DeQuan Mack is currently an external organizer at SEIU Local 5. He was at Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) as a contract Program Coordinator facilitating VORP’s Boys and Men of Color Program. Prior to joining VORP, DeQuan was a non-profit consultant and former Convener/Co-Director of Let Us Rise, a Colorado based organization working to catalyze a movement of people to create systems and cultures rooted in love, compassion, truthfulness, personal responsibility and democratic participation. He is the former Executive Director of One Nation Enlightened, one of Denver’s first youth organizing groups and prior to working with O.N.E., DeQuan worked for Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) as their Director of Training, his fundraising experience also includes working for the Chinook Fund. He has extensive background in community organizing, anti-oppression training, and grassroots fundraising that includes organizing with Action for a Better Community (Denver) and Californians for Justice. His community and volunteer work has been focused on youth, anti-oppression issues, and eliminating racism.

debbie headshot website

Debbie Zucker

Debbie Zucker has worked as a psychotherapist, supervisor and organizational consultant since 1990, focusing on how oppression shapes emotional, organizational and communal health. Debbie leads a group of local white therapists in developing anti-racist practices and identities. She also leads a Jewish leadership development group, focused on re-visioning Jewish identity and communal health.

In 1993 Debbie co-founded and directed the Anti-Anorexia/Bingeing/Dieting Project, an activist group which understood womens’ eating struggles as a public health issue rather than primarily as a private “mental health” matter.

Debbie blogs for a website/organization dear to her heart, She has long admired the work of the Chinook Fund and holds a strong commitment to learning from and collaborating with people from all class backgrounds to think clearly about money, wealth and social change.

Sierra Headshot re-sized 400x400

Sierra Fleenor

Sierra E. Fleenor is a writer, consultant, and social justice advocate living and working in Denver, CO. Raised in the Rocky Mountains of southern Colorado, she graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in Religion, becoming the first person in her family to obtain a college degree. She then worked at Colorado College in Student Life, where she received the Nelson-Cisneros Award in recognition for her work to support diversity. Sierra continued her studies at Harvard University’s Divinity School, receiving her Master of Theological Studies degree. Upon returning home, she worked at the Colorado Department of Higher Education as a Research Analyst, Project Manager, and finally, Director of the Colorado Challenge, a program that supports low-income, first-generation college students. Sierra volunteers at Judi’s House and serves on the board of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Sierra participated in Chinook’s first ever Giving Project and through that process learned the value of pairing social justice with fundraising. In her free time, Sierra reads avidly, gardens, and finds time to enjoy the beauty that is Colorado with her friends, her dogs, and her partner.