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Late last month, the Boulder Chamber presented the Women Who Light the Community award to six outstanding leaders. Our very own Laura Soto was among them.

Laura is seen from the waist up sitting in a comfy armchair and surrounded by glasses windows. She has close-cropped hair, a sleeve-less blouse, and several strands of necklaces. The photo is in black and white.

Credit: It Can Be Pictures

During a ceremony at the Lionsgate Event Center, Laura was not only recognized for the work she does as Philanthropiece’s Operations Manager, but for her service as a cultural broker, resource navigator, professional, and spoken-word poet.

Laura has touched members of the community far and wide through her work with diverse initiatives such as: Congressman Joe Neguse’s Latinx Advisory Committee, the St. Vrain Valley School District Parents Involved in Education Taskforce, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, and more. Most recently, she has been a fierce co-leader of the BoCo SUMA Community Resource Guide, our Undocu-Relief Fund, and Colorado’s Left Behind Workers Fund.


In the celebratory video above, Laura notes that she comes from “generations upon generations of warrior people.” Laura is the first ever DACAmented recipient of this award, and in an interview with journalist Silvia Solis for the Longmont Leader, she notes: 

“My message has been, in all of my community work, to represent the undocumented immigrant community and to highlight our contributions as assets to our community.”

Metaphors about light are a powerful way to view these contributions. Light radiates outwards, touching and warming everything in its path. “Being a shining light … means bringing hope for integration, allyship and unity,” says Soto in the same interview.

Laura celebrated alongside fellow award recipient and Chihuahuense mother Norma Fuentes, who noted:

“This award shows that it can be done, that there are opportunities, that we are seen, that our work means something . . . knowing that this is not about me but about thousands of people who are behind me gives me a lot of strength to keep going.”


2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Women Who Light the Community event. To date, the Boulder Chamber’s Business Women’s Leadership Group has honored 124 female leaders. See profiles for all this year’s award recipients here
We are grateful for the journalism of Silvia Solis, currently serving as a Community Correspondent for the Longmont Leader. Silvia is also a member of the inaugural TRENDS Reporting Fellows class, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Boulder County and KGNU Radio that seeks to bring a more local, equity-oriented approach to reporting on the social, economic and environmental health issues of our community.