If you ask Dr. Detra Duncan what her full-time job is, she’d likely tell you she’s a public health officer with Spectrum Healthcare Partners. The licensed dietitian and Fountain resident consults local health care providers to ensure nutritional services are up to par.
But for Duncan, her career is only the tip of the iceberg.
Always advocating for her community — especially its women and children — Duncan is herself a mother, but also a public servant and fashionista.
Last year she was elected the first African American woman to Fountain City Council, a move she hopes will inspire others.
“I want other children to see someone like them in the political arena. I want them to see that they also can have a seat at the table, and they can have a voice in their communities,” she said, adding, “I want other young African American girls to know they too can put their name on a ballot and win.”
Duncan has served as president of her homeowners’ association, as board president of Cross Creek Regional Park, as a board member on the Fountain Planning Commission and as a Sunday school teacher.
Additionally, she’s supported and volunteered with Education Children of Color and the African American Youth Leadership Conference. She has helped facilitate the Martin Luther King All Peoples Breakfast hosted by Colorado College and has been involved with providing scholarships to students pursuing higher education.
Duncan’s public service and mentoring within her community also influenced her decision to launch a youth city council in Fountain.
The program aims to encourage young people to get involved in public service as a way to effect change in the city of Fountain and beyond.
“Due to COVID, we’re meeting on Zoom,” Duncan told the Business Journal. “But in the future we plan to visit the state capital and see how government works; we’ll talk to elected people about how they ran their campaign. A lot of people don’t know what it takes to run a campaign.”
Two of the program’s participants will each receive a $2,000 scholarship, she said.
Even when she’s not physically out serving her community, Duncan makes a virtual impact. She’s also created the Facebook page, “The Mommy Dietitian,” to help mothers who have kids with food allergies and picky eating habits.
But one of Duncan’s favorite activities is managing her clothing line, Duncan’s Fashion, which creates professional attire for women.
“It’s affordable women’s clothing for church and work,” Duncan said. “It helps women feel better about themselves, especially ones trying to get back into workforce who have been stay-at-home moms. We offer them affordable clothing so they can go to interviews and look professional while at work.”
So what does it mean to Duncan to be named a Woman of Influence by the Colorado Springs Business Journal?
“It’s an honor,” she said. “I hope that what I’ve done in the community helps other women see what they can do. … I want to show women they can do anything — anything they want to do. The sky is the limit.
“Women are smart. Women are resourceful,” she added. “I just want to be an influence and someone young girls can look up to and say, ‘Yes I can.’"