COLOR is a sisterhood of Latinas dedicated to building a movement of Latinas, their families and allies through leadership development, organizing and advocacy to create opportunities and achieve reproductive justice.
COLOR envisions a state where Latinas and their families have the knowledge, freedom and power to access a full range of opportunities for the health of their body, mind and spirit.
COLOR's herstory began in 1998 when a group of Latinas searched for strategies to address and overcome high teen pregnancy rates, increasing rates of HIV/AIDS, and a lack of access to health care in the Latino community. These women, otherwise known as our "Founding Mothers," knew that the solution included increased education within our community on sexuality education, as well as policy change to address the root causes of these problems.
Karen Perez is a Mexican immigrant and mother of five children from Denver, Colorado. She has participated in cafecitos and Parent & Family Workshops for over two years, learning about healthy relationships and ways to best support the youth in her life. Karen attends regularly and has become more and more interested in becoming an active participant with COLOR. After a couple of media training sessions where Karen and other senoras learned about talking with public leaders about issues that matter to them, and connecting with viewers and listeners through TV and radio, Karen was ready to take on speaking roles. On January 14, 2017 Karen addressed a crowd at the Unity Rally and share her personal story of struggle as an immigrant facing a hostile environment post election and the work we must do to protect our immigrant communities. After the speech Karen also gave interviews to local outlets: 7NEWS, El Comercio de Colorado, The Denver Post. Later, Karen joined Community Organizer Gina Millan at a radio interview with Radio Fiesta Mexicana to promote the 11th Annual Latino/a Advocacy Day (LAD), a program that brings nearly 200 Coloradans to the state capitol every spring. Karen called on listeners to join her at LAD on March 19th and 20th, and to get involved in the change we seek for ourselves and our families.
The current climate has created a shift in priorities as we work to protect and advance marginalized communities, particularly our Spanish-speaking immigrant communities. Since last November 2016, COLOR responded to the new environment by organizing community forums to deliver Know Your Rights training and advance the What's at Stake campaign with regards to an ongoing attempt to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act. We are now hosting 1-2 forums per month and are launching a paid media campaign to further outreach with our Spanish-speaking immigrant communities. We are building on the momentum and leveraging ongoing work with cafecito participants, largely Spanish-speaking immigrants, to support storytelling efforts. We have been working with our señoras to minimize apprehension towards participating in advocacy activities by conducting tours of the state capitol. On a parallel track, we are also conducting media and public speaking trainings with our immigrant parents to continue to build momentum towards sharing personal narratives through interactions with the media, legislative hearings, rallies, and press conferences.