To best root ourselves in community, Philanthropiece seeks to join events and conferences where we can engage in the shared responsibilities of social justice work and the celebrations of the milestones we reach within the work that keep all allies united through the long haul. For this year’s Latinas LEAD conference the allyship, engaging, and celebration was a tenfold experience!

We thought of our Operations Manager, Laura Soto, when we questioned who might attend the 3rd Annual Latinas LEAD Power Summit to represent our support for the mission of building a vibrant representation of local Latinx Community in the state of Colorado, and were responded with a special invitation for Laura to be a performer at the event!

The summit was a full day conference in Denver designed to create a shared learning environment and celebration where we can highlight the unique strengths, challenges and opportunities Latina women face as they grow in their personal and professional development. This year Laura was invited to share her personal story of resilience and growth onstage through the performance of her original poem “Nacida Guerrera” – “Born a Warrior” – along with other inspiration stories.

Her experience was amplified by reconnecting with old friendships made over the last 5 years through activism for immigrants’ and women’s rights with organizations like COLOR, Centro Amistad, CIRC, Audio Information Network, Barrio É, Wilderness Workshop among others; in addition to meeting elder activists and new activists to learn how the elders have paved the way for this generation of Latinas giving representation, bringing down barriers and calling out for equity to build an even stronger platform for the new generations to impact further.

The feeling infused throughout the day was of a healing, uplifting sisterhood that kept together the fabric of the Latina identity in the U.S. The values of collaboration and responsibility towards each other to overcome the resistance in the dominant culture we have all faced as women, mothers, immigrants, new-comers, women in the work force and women in leadership is what permeated into our spirits as we let our sisters go to return to their work in advocacy across the state and await the day when we will be reunited again.

Laura Soto is Philanthropiece’s Operation Manager. She is an active member of the Parents Involved in Education (PIE) Taskforce, the Colorado Immigrants Rights Coalition, Community Language Cooperative and is an artist who shares her activism via performance, spoken-word and written poetry.