COLOR continues to influence the health equity space in Colorado by eliminating access barriers and expanding opportunities for those most impacted by health disparities. For nearly 25 years, we have been organizing at the grassroots level, building strategic alliances with organizational partners and coalition spaces, deepening collaborations with public leaders and state officials, and shifting the narrative around bodily autonomy and self-determination. Below we outline our most significant wins in the last few years.
- We promoted Medicaid enrollment and the annual Open Enrollment Period in Colorado (Nov. 1 to Jan. 15) to ensure Latinxs access the coverage they are eligible for, including Emergency Medicaid to diagnose and treat COVID-19 regardless of migratory status, and have the pertinent information regarding Public Charge, which helps im/migrants and mixed-status families make enrollment decisions. We worked closely with our partners at Colorado Consumer Health Initiative to educate the public and support individuals navigate the enrollment process, reaching 3,668 radio listeners, 200 text subscribers and over 20,000 social media followers. Together with several other partners within the Colorado ecosystem, we helped nearly 200,000 Coloradans sign up for health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado during open enrollment.
- Joined the Vaccine Equity Coalition state-wide efforts to support addressing disparities in access to COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including education and persuasion campaigns in culturally and linguistically relevant ways. We outreached to Latinx communities via social media, radio programming, flyering and info sessions to promote information on vaccination clinics as well as debunk myths, ultimately contributing to vaccination rates of over 70% for eligible Coloradans.
- We disrupted abortion stigma and visibilized HIV/STI positive living in Latinx spaces by centering storytelling and debunking myths. Through radio programming and culture-shift earned media we helped move communities along the continuum from judgment to empathy. We leveraged our award-winning, Spanish-language radio show Mujeres de COLOR, which ensures that Latinx communities are receiving accurate, localized and actionable information at all times, and hosted eight radio shows, reaching an average of 500 listeners per show and having meaningful conversations with 15 callers while the program aired, and secured 63 earned media and authored pieces, including Letters to the Editor and Opinion Editorials. Read more about Mujeres de COLOR by clicking here.
- Launched in 2020 the first-ever Youth experiences with abortion: access, knowledge, preferences and stigma, a multi-state, multi-year research study with reproductive justice and university partners in Colorado, Illinois, California and Texas. We are building a body of data to help inform future policy efforts involving young people and access to abortion. Each participating organization manages a Youth Advisory Board, whose members ensure the interview questions and language are accessible to youth and help inform the best method of dissemination as the research concludes and results are made available. The research project will continue through 2023.
- COLOR led a successful campaign to secure the passage of Senate Bill 9, approved by the 2021 Colorado Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in June 2021. Our work with policymakers helped this groundbreaking legislation become the priority policy for the Latino Caucus, the Women’s Caucus and the Democratic Caucus in both chambers. The new law creates a new Reproductive Health Care Program, which makes contraception available via Medicaid to Colorado im/migrants regardless of status and makes Colorado one of three states in the country expanding access to undocumented communities. COLOR remains engaged with state agencies, including the Colorado Division of Insurance and the Colorado Department of Health Policy and Financing, to ensure a successful implementation phase and ultimate launch of the program in July 2022. See more about Senate Bill 9 – The Reproductive Health Care Program by clicking here.