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Ashley Cornelius  


"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but the words of Ashley Cornelius have healed me".  

Ashley Dodge

Ashley is a Licensed Professional Counselor  (LPC) and is the manager of the RESTORE program at Denver Health, providing confidential peer support to Denver Health personnel. She is passionate about mental health and removing stigma for those seeking support.  She graduated with a master's in International Disaster Psychology from DU.


Ashley Cornelius is the 6th Pikes Peak Region Poet Laureate. Her poetry focuses on empowerment, self-care, body positivity, intersectionality, and systemic oppression. Ashley is sought after across the nation for speaking engagements and workshop facilitation.


Ashley won the the Prism award from One Colorado, the EY Next Wave Leadership award from CBCA, the 2023 NAMI Colorado Springs Advocate of the Year, the Lyndon E Copeland Music and Arts Influence award, and the the Bee an Arts Champion award from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. She is a Colorado Business Journal Rising Star class of 2021 and a finalist of the 2021 Mayor Young Leader Award. She won Silver and Gold for the Colorado Springs Independent Best of Artist Category. She has won multiple poetry slams in Colorado Springs. She was the Women of the World Poetry Slam Colorado Springs representative and competed in Dallas at Nationals. 

Ashley has opened up for former U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo and the Grandmother of Juneteenth, Opal Lee. She competed at the Women of the World Poetry Slam in 2018. She is a two-time Tedx speaker. She performs regularly across Colorado and prides herself on her community engagement. Ashley is the Co-Director of Poetry719, a Black-led poetry group lifting the voices of marginalized communities and BIPOC folks through poetry in Colorado Springs. Ashley is a therapist and believes poetry is a powerful modality for healing. Ashley has a background in poetry education and was the program director of an art nonprofit in Denver focused on poetry workshops and curriculum. Ashley is committed to using poetry as a platform to speak up and out for marginalized groups and be a voice for those who have been historically silenced.

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