Graduating Class: 2010
Industry: Education & Training and Social Impact/Community Service
MiDian Holmes grew up in Denver, Colorado, and recalls stories and experiences in her childhood filled with racial tensions. Some events were in the national spotlight and others were casual occurrences in her classroom or neighborhood. Stories centered around Rodney King, Latasha Harlins, Amadou Diallo, and the verdict of O.J. Simpson were just a few triggering reminders during MiDian’s formative years that the country was divided, despite being taught that America was a place of freedom and acceptance. While she was able to compartmentalize these national headlines, MiDian was no stranger to racism from her peers, teachers, and sadly enough, her mentors.
As the Owner/Founder of 8PM Consulting for Humanity, MiDian brings her life experience, a relentless pursuit for racial justice, and her expertise as a community leader, corporate executive, and social justice advocate to a new mission. MiDian’s work is centered into three main pillars, each addressing a community and providing them with opportunities to learn, reflect, grow, and change our society. MiDian teaches and lives her commitment to this work.
As a proud graduate of Montbello High School, MiDian was thrust into adulthood at the age of 18 when she became a mother. By the time she was 23, MiDian was blessed to be the mother of three. Although many doubted and attempted to condition MiDian to believe that she wasn’t suited to raise three children through her youth and poverty, MiDian leveraged her faith and passion for her family to ensure that they would thrive.
She built a foundation of love, accountability, and opportunity and demanded that society afford her children the platform to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. In doing so, she found her voice. She realized very quickly that if she wanted her children to be seen, she had to be an advocate for their education.
It was clear that there were strategic and systemic roadblocks waiting to disrupt their education and MiDian used each imposing opportunity to learn, inquire, challenge, implore, speak up, push back, and inspire the people and the systems that stood in the way. In the midst of this journey, she became an advocate not only for her children but for the children and families in the communities that she represented.
MiDian formed and leveraged what is best described as a relationship with the local school district. Her voice resonated, and in 2016 she received an appointment to become a member of the Denver Public School Board of Education.
Challenges would soon meet her again, as less than 24 hours after MiDian’s school board appointment was announced, her reputation and motherhood would be called into question through a week-long media frenzy. MiDian decided that instead of being the subject of distraction to the needs of the then 90,000 students in DPS, she would not accept the Board’s appointment and would focus her attention in a more productive manner. She realized that her work on behalf of marginalized students would be delayed, but knew that her voice couldn’t be denied.
Despite the shift in circumstance, MiDian leaned in and strengthened her presence at her children’s schools, continued to attend the school board meetings, offer public comment at the state legislature and city council, and organize, protest, and demonstrate when she witnessed, learned of or experienced inequities in the community. She led multiple action committees within the school district and the community and was appointed by former Mayor John Hickenlooper to serve on Denver’s Excellence in Education Committee.
MiDian forged a successful 18-year career in corporate America specializing in communications and business operations. She is a leading voice on matters of equity, inclusion, and integration in the workplace. MiDian’s commitment to this work has earned her the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, a feature in the PBS-aired documentary Standing in the Gap, and recognition in many publications.
While society continues to produce countless individuals and families impacted by the plague of racism and injustice, MiDian recognizes that our culture is suffering. She seeks to educate, enlighten, and empower people through personal connection and reflection, as she has done throughout her life.
MiDian is sought out and leveraged by the community at large and is committed to holding the hands and hearts of others to join her on the journey to Get Uncomfortable, Stay Uncomfortable, and Transform our Comfort!