Urban Land Conservancy celebrates the achievements of our partnerships that create and preserve nonprofit facilities and affordable housing for communities in Metro Denver. ULC’s Monthly Partner Spotlight is awarded to partners who demonstrate the value of collaboration, furthering our mission to improve the lives of Metro Denver residents through our real estate investments and community assets.
Congratulations to our November 2021 Partner Spotlight of the Month: Watson Wenk Group
When you first meet Darrell Watson and Michael Wenk, you can’t help but notice their enthusiasm for all things related to community. Michael, a former English teacher, and administrator, and Darrell, with a background in finance and wealth management, change management, and onboarding, say they found themselves constantly guiding their organizations through equity-centric work during their former careers. These experiences highlighted a real need in the marketplace and prompted them to launch their own consulting firm to help organizations through justice, equity, diversity, and inclusionary journeys.
In 2018, Darrell and Michael started the Watson Wenk Group (WWG), a boutique, minority-owned consulting firm that plans, facilitates, presents, listens, and leads organizations through equity work. With over 50 combined years of service working in schools, community groups, nonprofits, and government organizations, Darrell and Michael have facilitated and created meaningful strategies to help organizations excel in completing their missions. WWG excels in facilitation and engagement within BIPOC communities and has nurtured strategic relationships with many civic, educational, business, and nonprofit organizations along the Front Range.
“We employ a unique blend of culturally relevant and culturally representative training practices that empower communities to assert ownership of their justice, equity, inclusion, and diversity journeys,” said Michael. “We help organize people so they can develop individual skills and knowledge that they can immediately apply to their work, while also uniting people to proactively reform institutional practices in ways that enhance the mission and programming of the organization.”
“We take a unique approach customized to each of our organizations’ needs,” adds Darrell. “We lead, listen, and facilitate—know that this work can sometimes be uncomfortable. As such, we want to ensure we create an opportunity to celebrate steps along the way to see how far they’ve come.”
ULC was fortunate enough to begin a partnership with Watson & Wenk Group in the spring of 2021 to help guide our community engagement efforts surrounding the Park Hill Campus (former Johnson & Wales University Denver Campus).
“We are grateful to have Darrell and Michael on board to support our community-informed process as we work in collaboration with the other nonprofit and education partners on the campus,” said Angelle Fouther, ULC’s Director of Communications.
“I truly believe our work with ULC on the Park Hill Campus is one of our most important projects to date,” said Darrell. “I sit on the City of Denver Housing Stability Board and know firsthand the amount of affordable housing needs we have in our community. Through the acquisition of the campus, ULC and other campus partners are helping to create affordable housing in Northeast Denver for teachers, nurses, office workers, and others who want to stay in Denver but need affordable housing. I am proud to work alongside them.”
As Watson & Wenk partner with organizations, they hope to become a trusted name within our community. They aim to be the partner organizations turn to when they begin equity and inclusion work.
“We hope to create meaningful systemic changes in our community so that we can all be rooted in equity and live life more fully,” said Micahel.
To learn more about Watson and Wenk, visit their site here.