Shelley Banker is a visionary leader passionate about changing inequities in education for Colorado youth, disrupting social injustice, and organizing and empowering communities. Shelley is the Director of the Colorado Trustee Network (CTN) – a project of the Colorado Education Initiative – that seeks to expand partnerships with trustees of public colleges and universities to elevate the issues of greatest impact to Colorado’s learners and the state. Shelley has over a decade of leadership promoting educational equity and access in Colorado’s postsecondary systems, including through the implementation and expansion of the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI), the establishment of the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Educational Equity Office and Equity Champions Coalition, and most recently serving as Interim Executive Director of the Community College of Denver Foundation.
Shelley received her MSW from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, focusing on community and social change, emphasizing stable housing, education, and workforce development for communities that are traditionally underserved. Before graduate school, Shelley utilized her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and specialized in marketing in the higher education technology and e-learning space. Shelley joined the Denver CASA board of directors in 2022 after volunteering as a CASA on two cases between 2015 and 2017. Shelley also serves as the co-chair of the annual fundraising committee for Polite Tumor and the Secretary of the Collaborative School Committee at McKinley Thatcher Elementary. She is originally from Colorado and enjoys introducing her daughter to everything nature offers.