At COLOR we value organizing alongside communities and building power together to take action on issues that we care about the most. Over the past year, we’ve engaged in community organizing by hosting three roundtables across Colorado in Greeley, Pueblo, and Glenwood Springs.
The Latino/a Policy Listening Tour was a way to bring communities together and connect them directly with their state legislators in Colorado. The ideas that came out of these conversations helped shape priorities for our 16th Annual Latino/a Advocacy Day, a two day lobby event at the Colorado state Capitol.
The 16th Annual Latino/a Advocacy Day was a huge success for organizing in Colorado. Over 200 community members joined with our partners Protégete and Voces Unidas de las Montañas, to talk about the importance of advocacy and how we can make positive change in our community. At the 16th Annual LAD, we engaged young Latinx folks by holding community forums on topics of immigration justice, reproductive justice, environmental justice, education justice, criminal justice, and economic and housing justice.
With the support of community organizations guiding conversations, each of these topics helped us with the support of community organizations guiding conversations, each of these topics helped us learn from one another and created a space to be vulnerable about the impact that these issues have on our families and how we can create positive change.
What we learned at LAD is that our community cares deeply about issues that are impacting their communities the most. We learned that nothing about us can be done without us. At LAD we learned that our community already has the tools to create change but we still need the community in order to come together and take action. Unity. Salud. Resilience. was this year’s theme. In Colorado, Latinos understand our power when we are involved year-round in activism, lobbying, and building power. Pictured on the left is our Political Director, Christina Soliz facilitating a plenary on Latina Leadership Across Colorado where panelists from local city councils and county commissions stressed the importance of engaging not only at the state level, but also the local level around issues that directly impact our lives.
COLOR also participated in the #LiberateAbortion rally in DC in late 2021. Our Policy Director, Katherine Riley, and our Political Director, Christina Soliz are pictured on the left at the Bans Off Our Bodies and #LiberateAbortion rally in D.C.
COLOR has worked to pass multiple Reproductive Justice bills at the Colorado General Assembly — including Senate Bill 9 — The Reproductive Health Care Program, which allows more Coloradans to receive reproductive health care through Medicaid, regardless of immigration status. COLOR is proud to have worked alongside COBALT Advocates to pass The Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2022 that ensures every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse contraception; every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to choose to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of Colorado. As other states were passing bans on abortion, COLOR and our community stepped to the front lines and enshrined reproductive rights as fundamental rights in Colorado.