Barbara Shannon-Bannister

2008 Corn Mother Honoree


Barbara was raised in New Orleans in a well-educated family, amid social unrest, segregation, and the poverty of other black families. Following her family’s religious convictions and civil rights commitment, she became an activist early on. She has a B.A. from the University of Wyoming and an M.Ed. in Education and Energy Administration from Antioch College. 

She has a burning desire to help those who are voiceless. She worked for the city of Aurora, Colorado for twenty-five years and was the Chief of Community Relations. There, she advocated forand supported residents by providing access to services, information, resources, and scholarship aid. She also planned events celebrating Aurora’s diverse community and provided cultural awareness training to city employees and residents.

Barbara founded and directed Aurora’s first non-profit performing arts organization, Grand Design, Inc., and is the choir director of its multi-cultural chorale. She and her husband Gaurdie have been married over forty years and have two grown children, both of whom received a Ph.D.




From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

— Luke 12:48

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