PoCo in BoCo, People of Color in Boulder County is a show with KGNU public radio that has been uplifting the colorful voices of local leaders! With co-hosts Nikhil Mankekar and Tracey Jones, the show airs on the second Monday of every month at 8.35am.
Last month Laura Soto, our Operations Manager, was invited to an improvised radio interview. She was asked to participate as one of the voices of People of Color working to make Boulder County a more inclusive place that truly represents its diverse population. The values of diversity, inclusivity, representation and equity are at the heart of Philanthropiece’s work in building resilient communities. This made the invitation an exciting opportunity to talk about the initiatives we are currently supporting at the local level. Laura talked about the value of cultural brokers, the importance of representing all members and all concerns found in our local community, the great resource that Community Savings Groups will be for the traditionally marginalized sectors in Boulder County, and her experience in reaching a leadership position with Philanthropiece.
Additionally, it was a gratifying treat for Laura to reunite with her old friends from four years ago. Both hosts of the show, Tracy Jones and Nikil Mankek are Laura’s former 2015 Leadership Fellows of Boulder County companions. Laura has continued to build upon the relationships she formed since starting her local activist work in Colorado, but remains fond of in 2015 Leadership Fellows time when she met so many other local leaders sharing the work of social justice in different sectors. Laura remembers: “The 3 of us would talk a lot during our time together at the training about the shared struggles we had as rising leaders in BoCo, struggles that are unique to PoCo, wondering if we could prevent other PoCo from having to go through the same challenges”.
The three leaders formed tight bonds in solidarity and understanding of those struggles and have continued to cross paths in different projects each has become involved in over time. When Laura saw that Tracy and Nikil had started this new radio program with KGNU, fulfilling their desire to open a platform where minorities could have a more visible presence in Boulder County, she immediately felt happiness and pride for them. With this show, we have achieved such a great step forward towards the representation of the grand diversity living in BoCo! Laura relished the time she spent with Nikil and Tracy talking once more about their visions for inclusion and shared desire to make BoCo a more equitable and welcoming place for all!
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.