2008 Corn Mother Honoree
Lois Burrell is an internationally known storyteller, who has thrilled listeners with stories from various cultures. Her treasure chest includes biographies, myths, pioneer tales, personal stories, and her specialty—African and African-American folktales and slave stories. Lois has been a longtime board member and presenter for the Rocky Mountain Storytellers Conference and a member of the Traveling Rainbow Tellers, a multicultural storytelling troupe that has enlightened as it has entertained.
She has contributed stories to three Tummy Tales books—Pinch a Lotta Enchiladas, Ole! Posole! and Biscochitos for Mis Jitos. and No Pepperonis! Just Chicharrones. Lois has a B.A. in Sociology from Virginia State University and an M.A. in Medical Social Work from Indiana University. A widow, she has one daughter, the late Pameela Burrell. Though she is retired, Lois has been active in community activities, particularly at the Senior Center in Brighton, Colorado, where she has long resided. She has received many awards, including Brighton’s Outstanding Senior Award, the AARP National Community Senior Award, the Norwest Bank Red Sweater Award, and the Denver Urban Spectrum Community Person of the Month Award. In 2019, she was honored by Denver’s Corky Gonzales Library for her decades-long contributions to Colorado’s cultural legacy.
One of my favorite quotations is from my cousin, Colonel Guion Bluford, the first African-American to go into space.
“Hard work, dedication, and perseverance are the keys to success. Work to get an education and be as prepared as you can possibly be for any opportunities that may come your way. You can achieve any worthwhile goal you set your mind on if you work hard and persist long enough.”
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