Latinxs Communities in Denver

Congreso 2022

Colorado State Historian Nicki Gonzales, Ph.D. will share an overview of the history of Latinx communities in Denver. Her talk will encompass a variety of topics and themes, including local contributions to the Chicano Civil Rights Movement and how Latinxs have responded to displacements over time.

Facilitator: Laura Dominguez, Latinos in Heritage Conservation


Speaker: Dr. Nicki Gonzales, Colorado State Historian and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Regis University



Laura Dominguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at USC, where she studies race, heritage, and place-making in the American West. Her research examines the making and unmaking of settler histories, memory sites, and ancestral practices among Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Los Angeles. Born and raised in Southern California, Laura holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from USC. She previously served as Communications and Programs Manager for San Francisco Heritage and Preservation Manager for the Los Angeles Conservancy. An advocate for preservation justice and equity, she is also a founding board member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and chairs its Education & Programs Committee. From 2019-2021, she was a member of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group. Her writing has appeared in the Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of American History, California History, and Lost L.A. She is a new mother to Diego.


Born and raised in Denver, Nicki Gonzales has deep family roots in the coal mining and agricultural communities of Northern and Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Like so many Mexican Americans in this region, her grandparents moved to Denver during WWII for economic opportunities. Nicki is a graduate of Yale University, with a BA in English literature, and CU-Boulder, with a PhD in American History. Currently, she serves as Professor of History and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Regis University. She specializes in the history of the American West, specifically the history of Mexican land grants and social movements in Southern Colorado, as well as Chicano History. Her most recent projects include a Historic Context Project, which will inform the City’s preservation decisions, in collaboration with the City of Denver and an oral history of Chicano Vietnam Veterans. She currently serves as Colorado State Historian. She is the mom of two boys—Danny and Teddy.