One can find meetups for all kinds of activities in the Springs, but according to Dillavou, these groups “typically look very male and very white.” She says: “I was seeking a group where my narrative was considered equal. ... I wanted a space where people who grew up like me could talk about that without feeling like our story had to sound a certain way.”
The group that emerged from this desire, GLO, gathers women of color in a safe and understanding space, encouraging conversation, philanthropy, community-building and education. The name comes from the slang term “glo up,” which Dillavou defines as: “The bettering of the self. Internal light getting bigger and brighter.”
Currently, GLO boasts five to 10 active members who attend monthly meetings, but around 70 area women use GLO’s Facebook page, proving a need and an audience for the resources the group provides. “Everyone seems to think [Colorado Springs] is so white,” Dillavou says, “but in reality we’re diverse and culturally rich. We just don’t highlight those voices very often.”
In order to elevate diverse viewpoints and experiences, GLO put out a call to WOC artists throughout the region, collecting their works in the group’s first art exhibit, GLOCASE, currently on display at the Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region. Art includes Dillavou’s own found-object collage and sculpture; zines by Thu Tran; illustrations by Christine Flores and Peyton Davis (who also contributes to the Indy’s Queer & There column); and paintings, sculpture and more by other GLO members and “newbies”: Katherine Parra, Sofia Hernandez, Melanie Kerwien, Lindsay Maroney and Valentina Kai.
“There’s always this idea that [people of color] don’t show up to art shows, which is bullshit,” Dillavou says. “Put artists of color on the walls, represent artists of color, tell our stories, make us visible, and see how the gallery audience changes.”
Events like this, she says, are GLO’s way of getting the community to listen, and to engage people who don’t always have the opportunity to get engaged. Future GLO events may include more gallery showings, live music, and yoga or meditation courses. Currently, GLO members are creating “restoration bags,” to be sent through Restore Innocence, which helps women who have been rescued from human trafficking. It’s a lot of work, but worth it.
“I have hella faith in these chicas to change the world,” Dillavou says.