COLOR’s herstory began with a grassroots group of Latinas searching for strategies to overcome increasing rates of HIV/AIDS and other issues impacting the Latino community in the areas of education, health care, civil rights, economic justice, and immigration. In 1998, COLOR became a nonprofit and has been serving the Latinx communities of Colorado ever since.
How We Started
With the help of a grant from the Latinas Unidas State Coalition Project for the National Institute for Reproductive Health, our Founding Mothers started working to create a voice and presence in the area of reproductive health and freedom in Colorado. In April 1998 they created Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), the first Latina-led and Latina-serving reproductive justice organization in the state. In December 2000, COLOR became incorporated in the State of Colorado and received 501c(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.
As a people-of-color led organization, COLOR works to advance reproductive justice for all Coloradans. COLOR’s approach centers on intersectionality with the knowledge that no person leads a single issue life. We challenge all barriers keeping communities from leading successful, self-determined lives by furthering environmental justice, economic justice, racial justice, immigrant rights, LGBTQIA+ liberation and more. We take a youth-to-elder approach, embracing the teachings of multiple generations in a cultura-centric way (meaning our work evokes and lifts up the traditions, language, and cultural identities of our communities). COLOR works to cultivate and develop our base of COLORistxs through a leadership ladder that authentically reflects the lives of those we serve.
COLOR represents and advocates for all Latinxs communities living in Colorado. COLOR’s base members or, ‘COLORistxs,’ are largely Spanish-speaking immigrants, LGBTQIA+ folks, low-income folks, and people who identify as women and people of color, including youth and young activists, as well as families. Our year-round base building efforts and programming are centered on building power for the Latinx community across Colorado.
COLOR identifies our constituencies as all Latinx individuals and their families living in Colorado, all of whom we represent and advocate for. People who engage directly with our work as participants and/or donors are considered COLORistxs. COLOR often uses the “x” in an effort to promote and acknowledge multiple gender identities.