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Supporters and family stand together with LaTitia Taylor on stage following the Durango Rocks presentation ceremony at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Thursday, Feb. 29. LaTitia Taylor received the Morley Ballantine Women’s Leadership Award presented by the Durango Chamber of Commerce. 
LaTitia Taylor stands with her sons, Addison Jones and Micah Odoms after receiving the prestigious Morley Ballantine Women’s Leadership Award presented by the Durango Chamber of Commerce. 
Shane and Melanie Seibel were among the many attendees at the annual Durango Rocks presentation held in the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Thursday, Feb. 29, the event was sponsored by the Durango Chamber of Commerce. 
LaTitia Taylor holds the Morley Ballantine Women’s Leadership Award following the Durango Rocks presentation ceremony at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Thursday, Feb. 29, the event was sponsored by the Durango Chamber of Commerce. 
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
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Taylor receives Morley Ballantine Award  


Durango Chamber recognizes individuals, organizations  

Southern Ute tribal member and educator, LaTitia Taylor was awarded the Morley Ballantine Women’s Leadership Award by the Durango Chamber of Commerce at the Durango Rocks Awards Celebration held Thursday, Feb. 29 at the Fort Lewis College Concert Hall in Durango. Colo. 

Every year the Durango community gathers for an Oscar-esq celebration of Durango’s most ambitious, giving, and talented folks. The recognition ceremony, dubbed Durango Rocks, is a long-standing tradition hosted by the Durango Chamber of Commerce. The community nominates individuals, organizations, and businesses that are making a difference in Durango, culminating with the annual Durango Rocks Awards Celebration.  

“I am truly honored to be a part of the women who have received this award before me,” Southern Ute Education Director, LaTitia Taylor said. “I honestly didn’t realize the prestige of the award.  I have worked for the Tribe for 32 years and with those entities on the outside, local and across the world for my tribe in Natural Resources and Education.  It is humbling that they saw the work I have done.”  

“To the women who nominated me, Stephanie Moran, I just want to say thank you for seeing me,” Taylor said. 

The Morley Ballantine Award is given to a woman in the community who has exhibited excellence in business or a non-profit, demonstrated initiative and creativity, and enhanced the stability and improvement of the community.  It is a time-honored award for an individual who demonstrates support of the goals of professional women and provides unselfish assistance on their behalf. Past winners include Ann Morse, Rep. Barbara McLachlan, Karen Midkiff, Tiffany Lee, and Melissa Glick. 

“It was so wonderful to watch LaTitia receive the Ballentine Leadership award for Women,” SunUte Community Center Director Robin Duffy-Wirth said. “She paved a path of influence with her courage. She not only represents the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in such a positive way, but she is also a powerful representation of all women.”  

Taylor serves as the Director of the Southern Indian Tribes Education Department which oversees Higher Education for tribal members, the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy and the summer youth employment program in Ignacio.  Most recently, Taylor has been instrumental in establishing the Southwest Indigenous Language Development Institute (SILDI) for preservation of the Ute language in partnership with Fort Lewis College.  

When asked if there was a message she would like to share with other Ute women, or with other educators out there, Taylor said, “I grew up on the reservation, I experienced life there, some people don’t realize my experiences are the same.  None of us are immune to the pain and struggles of the reservation; every single one of us have experienced this.  Don’t be ashamed, or let others judge you.” 

“What is important is how we can help each other grow and be the person you want to be.” 

In her acceptance speech for the Morley Ballantine Women’s Leadership Award, Tayor said it was such an honor to be added to the list of strong trailblazing women. 

“On behalf of women, I’m here to say, see us, cherish us, respect us and most of all love us,” Taylor said. 

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