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Katharine Joyce Carpenter

2011 Inductee

Katharine Joyce Carpenter (1921-1994) was a lifelong advocate and promoter of the poor and disenfranchised, not only in Colorado but across the nation. She lobbied the Colorado Springs City Council, promoting decisions supportive of minorities, the elderly and the poor. In 1976, she was elected to the office of Committeewoman of the Democratic Party for Precinct 58, El Paso County, and worked to expand voter participation.

Born in Pueblo, Katharine Carpenter later moved to Colorado Springs, where she married and lived until her death in 1994. Throughout her life she worked for and with those who were in need of an advocate.

Locally, she led the effort to create the Hillside Neighborhood Center, where she helped connect people to safety-net programs and services. At the state level, she founded the Colorado Prison Reform Centers. Nationally, she helped influence legislation, including the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. She also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for civil rights in Washington, D.C. One of her most enduring contributions was her stand to help keep the Garden of the Gods as sacred ground. She wanted the landmark to remain a place where people could reflect on its history, enjoy nature’s beauty, and find the kind of inspiration that drove her to effect change