Sen. Julie Gonzales

State Sen. Julie Gonzales of Denver accepts the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado's Force for Good Award for 2020.

The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado named state Sen. Julie Gonzales, Denver Community Church and the Aurora-based Second Chance Center "forces for good" in an online event Tuesday.

The Interfaith is a coalition from Colorado people, organizations and worship centers from different faiths that work on issues, typically left-leaning.

Representing Senate District 34 in west Denver, Julie Gonzales works as the political director for the Meyer Law Firm, which led local resistance to President Trump’s immigration policies, as well as rising to prominence for her work on affordable housing.

"I don't think it's ever just one person who makes things happen in our community," the senator said Tuesday. "... When we do come together, we are unstoppable."

Amanda Henderson, the alliance's executive director, called Gonzales a defender of the marginalized.

"What we mean when we say a force for good is that we're identifying people who make the world a more equitable and just place to live," she said. 

The Interfaith Alliance honors an individual, an organization and a congregation each year. 

You can watch their full awards ceremony by clicking here.

The Second Chance Center is an 8-year-old nonprofit that helps people convicted of crimes reenter society through a host of programs.

"When I stepped out of prison 15 years ago I wanted to do something with my life that would mean something to someone besides just myself," the center's executive director, Hassan A. Latif, said. 'To be called Force for Good, I didn't envision it unfolding like this."

Denver Community Church has "quietly and humbly gone about the work of justice," Henderson said.

The church leads an effort to turn congregrational land into affordable housing. So far, 15 congregations have pitched in to clear the way for people to have a safe place to live affordably, while six other congregations are considering it.

Michael Hidalgo, the lead pastor at Denver Community Church, thanked the members of his church their commitment to good.

"It's their generosity that allows us as a church to serve and to give and lead and work to do all this together to lead to a more whole, healed and just world."

Hidalgo said the Interfaith Alliance leads the way as a force for good across Colorado. "Your tireless efforts, you commitment for justice and your faithful work for the common good is inspiring."

Those who would like to support the Interfaith Alliance and Force for Good Awards can make a donation by clicking here.

This story was updated to correct an error in Gonzales' bio.

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