October 15, 2019
We believe all Coloradans – no matter who they are or where they live – should have access to culturally responsive, medically accurate, evidence-based, safe and comprehensive information and services that support their sexual and reproductive health. Recognizing inequities exist, we are fostering innovative programs and services, designed by and for communities, to meet their reproductive health needs.
Despite Colorado’s considerable gains in reducing teen pregnancy, inequities persist, particularly for Latina youth, many of whom experience barriers that make it nearly impossible to exercise their reproductive rights. Through the Colorado Collaborative for Reproductive Health Equity, we are asking the question: how might we center the voices and desires of Latinas to design relevant, culturally responsive solutions that meet their reproductive needs and help them navigate pathways to adulthood?
Using a human- and community-centered approach (HCD), we are deeply engaged in place-based partnerships in two Colorado communities – Adams and Pueblo counties. HCD is a problem-solving process that involves communities in the development of ideas intended to benefit them. In this case, rather than assume we know Latinx youth (particularly Latinas) – who they are, what they care about, what challenges they face and what solutions they need – we engage them as thought partners. This process is designed to inspire new and innovative solutions that meet Latinx youth where they are, resonate with them more deeply and develop a culturally responsive, dignified, even delightful resolution to a challenge.
This work is led by six design fellows – women who are recognized as champions, culturally representative, natural organizers and deeply embedded in the lives of youth and the fabric of these communities. It is also supported by Colorado Collaborative staff, Liz Romer and Gillian Grant, and an expert team from the Curious Company.
The HCD process will continue through December 2019. In winter 2020, we hope to showcase the solutions designed by Latinx youth and the design fellow team and implement them in Adams and Pueblo counties – thereby helping youth realize their potential for health, well-being and opportunity.