LIPS – Latinas Increasing Political Strength Leadership Institute and Mentorship Program
Latinas Increasing Political Strength (LIPS) mentors the next generation of Latina leaders to promote the advancement of the Latinx community and advocate for reproductive justice issues. LIPS serves as an entry point for young Latinas to become engaged with organizing and advocacy.
This leadership program serves as an introduction to activism and community organizing for youth in Colorado. This program is meant to serve 16-21 year olds. School enrollment and citizenship status is not required. This program incorporates an anti-oppressive teaching model and is geared for aspiring activists and advocates for justice.
LIPS Alumnae Talk Back: Why did you join LIPS?
- Because “I had little knowledge of how politics affected my life.”
- To “become more involved in the community and meet young leaders in the community.”
- LIPS was an opportunity to “show support for a worthy cause”and “make a difference.”
“LIPS gave me a foundation of knowledge and introduced me to key people that shared opportunities [with] me, which allowed me to navigate the Denver political field and become more involved in activities that interested me.” — LIPS alumna
Latinas Increasing Political Strength (LIPS) is an immersive program that requires commitment but promises many rewards! One of the most exciting things about LIPS is taking a trip to Washington D.C.* together, but getting there means earning it! The term involves:
- attending seven, 4-hour learning sessions + homework
- attending 2-3 special events and volunteer opportunities
- Service-learning projects
- one-on-ones with a designated mentor
- All expenses paid 3-day trip to Washington D.C. in April
While the program is rigorous, we recognize that LIPS participants may be taking on many responsibilities such as going to school, working, and/or parenting. LIPS can accommodate your particular situation; we aim to keep the program accessible.
Supplies and Cost
COLOR is committed to keeping LIPS accessible, so there is no up-front cost to attending LIPS. However, during the program, we ask that each participant commits to fundraising $150-250 from their community. Ample support will be given throughout the program to ensure participants have the tools they need to succeed at this task. A few mandatory and some of the optional events require “business casual” attire and supportive, comfortable dress shoes. Heels are not allowed because we are on our feet and on the move and cannot always stop to rest or nurse blisters. Basic supplies are provided by the program, but sometimes students want to go above and beyond in some way and may need to purchase materials. Sometimes, depending on funding, we are able to reimburse for additional supplies, but not always
Mentorship is a key way to build a thriving leadership pipeline and believe that mentorship serves both individuals by providing new opportunities for personal development. Participants are matched with a mentor who assists in guiding their development and involvement in the community. Mentors attend events, share their experiences, assist with the participant’s projects, and provide support in any way possible for the LIPS participant to be successful.
How do I apply?
Youth of Color
Launched in 2019 to build the capacity and leadership of young People of Color around policy, organizing and communications, the Youth of COLOR Fellowship is designed to open doors for young POC. The program offers an opportunity to our young people who are familiar with the theory of organizing, advocacy and political change and are ready to level up their skills and develop professional skills in the reproductive justice movement. Part of the ‘leveling up’ includes modeling their leadership skills and recruiting a cohort (formal or informal) of young people who are interested and engage with an aspect of reproductive justice including policy, organizing or communications.
About The Program
In 2019 COLOR was proud to announce our inaugural Youth of COLOR fellows —Ashly Villa-Ortega, Elizabeth Burciaga, and Nancy Mora Domínguez— who worked mobilizing their peers for Reproductive Justice. Each fellow recruits a cohort of leaders that exercise their political power through storytelling, artivism, and workshops. Youth are leading the way in the Reproductive Justice movement and COLOR believes strongly in their advocacy and agency.
Each fellow champions a focus in policy, organizing or communications. The goal is to build up their knowledge and capacity and bridge the gap between their focus area and what they don’t have the opportunity to learn elsewhere.
In 2022, Youth of COLOR fellows are the third fellowship class. Fellows are valued members of the COLOR team and contribute to high level projects as young professionals.
At the end of the program, each fellow will:
- Be comfortable with engaging self and others, particularly peers, in the political process at the local and state levels
- Feel prepared to advocate on behalf of Reproductive Justice
- Consider themselves a leader, role model, and active contributor to the RJ movement
- Identify and implement advocacy tactics using power mapping strategies
- Be confident contacting government officials or policymakers/leaders to discuss RJ issues