The Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)/Latinas Increase Political Strength (LIPS) just got done celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The organization is based in Denver, Latina-led and focused on serving Latinas. According to data from 2018, Hispanics and Latinos make up 21.5 percent of Colorado’s population.
The mission of COLOR is to build a movement for Latinas, their families and others by helping with leadership development, organization and advocacy to earn reproductive justice, according to the nonprofit’s mission. Its vision is Latinas and their families realize that they have the freedom to access opportunities that are healthy for their bodies, minds and spirits.
The organization likes to refer to its history as “herstory.” COLOR’s early days started from a group of mothers who wanted to establish a voice in regards to reproductive health and freedom in Colorado. It received a grant from the Latinas Unidas State Coalition Project. COLOR was born in the spring of 1998, becoming the first reproductive justice organization in the state that is Latina-led and focused on serving Latinas.
Fast forward two years later, and COLOR became incorporated in the state of Colorado, allowing it to receive 501 status.
According to COLOR, the organization has over 1,500 people who are involved with its work whether they are participants or donors. Among those who it represents include Spanish-speaking immigrants, LGBTQ people, people who are on a low-income budget, young people and more.
COLOR has numerous programs, including COLORado 1in3 Youth Leadership Council and Latinas Increasing Political Strength.
According to COLOR, one in three women in the country will have an abortion. The COLORado 1in3 Youth Leadership Council focuses on removing stigmas around abortion. The program recruits people 18 to 24-years-old to work on outreach campaigns on college campuses.
Latinas Increasing Political Strength is a program designed to mentor Latina leaders. It is centered around Latinas who are 16 to 21-years-old in the Denver metro area. The program wants to help Latinas in that age group become engaged in terms of organizing and advocacy, particularly around reproductive justice issues.
People who are part of the Latinas Increasing Political Strength program attend learning sessions and are assigned homework. They also attend multiple special events and are given volunteer opportunities. What might be the most exciting part of the program is a trip to Washington D.C. There isn’t a cost to join the program, but it is asked that each participant commits to raising $150 to $250.
For more information about COLOR, visit www.colorlatina.org. To volunteer, visit www.colorlatina.org/contact-us/.