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Meet The Team


Shara Zaia


Shara Zaia is a first generation Assyrian-American climber, educator, and community organizer based in Denver, CO. After nearly a decade of teaching and advocating for underserved children in early childhood classrooms, she is focusing her advocacy efforts on the climbing community. Access to the sport has given her a chance to challenge her deep rooted imposter syndrome and wrestle with her own fears. Most importantly, climbing has given her a community. Her dream is to pair her passions for education and the outdoors in an effort to break down barriers within the sport so that everyone can experience the mental, physical, and emotional benefits. She works full time at the American Alpine Club as the Manager of Climb United where she works with affinity leaders across the country to continue to shift the culture of climbing towards inclusivity and joy. She is supported by SCARPA, Arc’teryx Colorado, and Wild Country.


Menesha Mannapperuma


Menesha is a Sri Lankan-American climber who has been climbing for around ten years. She primarily boulders and started climbing in California followed by a move to Colorado five years ago. Professionally, she’s a former lawyer turned product manager. Menesha is excited to see climbing diversify and thinks it’s important to build a space for climbers of color to connect. When she first started climbing, it was hard for her to find and climb with other people of color. As a co-founder of Cruxing in Color, she hopes to make it easier and less intimidating for other climbers of color to access climbing culture and opportunities.

CIC is fully powered by volunteers.
We appreciate everyone who has played a role in building this beautiful community!

Read About Us!

Climbing Has a Diversity Problem. Cruxing in Color is Working to Change That

“They’re Giving it Their All”: The Cost of BIPOC Affinity Groups

Fighting Life's Trials as a BIPOC Through Climbing

Outdoors and Free

(pg. 56-57)

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