As someone who likes to run, Kathryne Grove finds half marathons to be the best way to explore new places.
It is here, away from mainstream attractions, where she is able to see the authenticity of the places she explores. Savannah and San Francisco have been some of her favorites, but nothing beats the wild, picturesque views of the Canyonlands half marathon in Moab, Utah.
Grove grew up in a small community outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico, playing and prospecting for hours and catching desert critters of all kinds. Her family moved to Colorado Springs in the ‘80s, and she has been in Colorado ever since.
Now that she’s (mostly) grown up, Grove still finds herself in awe of the breathtaking beauty of the desert and Colorado’s wild spaces. She has a rooted connection to the outdoors, sustainability, and protecting the environment for future generations.
This passion to make the world a better place for all people began in her youth. Having grown up with limited resources, Grove developed a strong desire to support others, as well as a dedication to dismantling systemic barriers that can interfere with people’s ability to live their fullest and healthiest lives. She served meals in a Colorado Springs homeless shelter starting in the fifth grade and mentored youth through multiple organizations in Greeley during her time in college. It was during these formative years that she discovered her skill for building relationships and interest in work that contributes to something larger than herself.
After earning her degree in psychology, Grove began her career as a social worker, helping survivors of domestic violence and families experiencing homelessness. She later pursued her law degree with a desire to impact change and continue her advocacy work.
After earning her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College, Grove held several legal roles over the next decade, including serving as in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 corporation and as an employment attorney for the Colorado Department of Law, working in private practice, and being a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia.
Grove found her path to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work while employed at the University of Denver, where she established the Title IX office, rewrote policies, rebuilt community trust and transparency, and implemented critical training on diversity and inclusion and anti-discrimination laws.
This work was important to Grove, in that it wasn’t just about checking the box but about striving for excellence and creating an equitable space for all those in the university community to thrive.
Before coming to WRA, Grove served as the civil rights director and diversity officer for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver, where she created policies and procedures to promote equitable access to transportation services. She developed a first-of-its-kind compliance and diversity awareness training for the entire workforce and inclusivity training for its board of directors, established a DEI committee, and leveraged community outreach to promote pathways to employment.
At WRA, Grove brings both experience and a fresh perspective to conservation. She works to address diversity and inclusion within the organization and the larger environmental movement.
She accomplishes that by building a greater understanding among staff about the systemic inequities that have impacted communities’ land, air, rivers, and drinking water while championing WRA’s policy efforts that proactively combat climate change and advance equity throughout the West.
Grove has never been a transactional person. She believes relationship building and connection reveal the pivotal point of true engagement, that by linking arms with our partners and our community we can create meaningful access and amplify the voices of those who are most affected. At WRA, we couldn’t be more excited for Grove to walk (or maybe run) this path with us to address the impacts of the climate crisis and environmental injustices.