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Human Rights Campaign Fights Discrimination: Color Stories – For Equality

December 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Cover Story, Feature

by Las Vegas Black Image

From left, Gaby Jurica of El Tiempo Newspaper, Coco Llences of the Human Rights Campaign, and Claudia Magana.

It was on a wonderful Sunday afternoon that Las Vegas Black Image magazine was on hand for Color Stories, an event at which African-American and Latino lesbian women were invited to speak on their struggle for equality.

Sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign, Color Stories was conducted in an intimate home setting, where attendees were able to gather around a table to hear a series of women speak on their struggles for human rights. Not every attendee was a member of the gay and lesbian community, but all were strong believers in equality for all people.

Asked to explain how the event came together, Color Stories founder and creator Latoya Holman said, “I put together, along with L.A. Walker, a roundtable called ‘The HRC Women of Color Roundtable’ that was comprised of three women. It was like a brainstorming session on how we can bring women of color together under the equality initiative. So, when we were going around the table introducing ourselves, we started to share our personal stories and how we ended up fighting for equal rights. Just from the one meeting, I realized the power in storytelling and how it breaks down walls of misunderstanding that may lead to prejudice. When you tell your story to someone, you are giving an unguarded gift — and in return, you receive one.”

A longtime ally of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, Holman said Color Stories is designed for everyone who is committed to realizing the dream of equal justice for all. “This event was created because, when you take a look at the Las Vegas community and those people who are supportive of equal rights for all Nevadans and for all Americans, we look different,” she said. “We are not all lesbians and we are not all straight, (we) who believe in equality. I noticed that even the people who were volunteering for HRC didn’t represent the Las Vegas community as a whole. I thought we really need to focus on bringing some powerful voices together that believe in the dream that all Americans should be treated equally and have the same rights.”

From left, Terry Horton, Color Stories creators Latoya Holman and L.A. Walker.

With various forms of inequality and injustice still lingering today, the civil rights struggles of the 1960s do not seem very far removed from the 21st century fight to win equal treatment under the law for everyone.

“Color Stories is something everyone can relate to,” said Holman. “Every women of color, regardless if they are rich, poor, educated or not, has something in their human experience that we can learn from. The struggle for acceptance is the common thread that binds us … In that understanding, there is a common expectation that each woman believes in equal rights, and we can work together to help accomplish the goal for equality. Ultimately, that is what we are doing.”

For more information on the Human Rights Campaign of Nevada and the next Color Stories event contact Holman by email at


3 Responses to “Human Rights Campaign Fights Discrimination: Color Stories – For Equality”
  1. This is a great idea and a timely one! Hopefully we will see more events like this helping to empower the community.

  2. Awesome writing style!

  3. Natalie Relf says:

    I attend UNLV with Claudia Magana, the girl top right in the first picture, and she is a good friend of mine. I happened to be exploring the website and it caught my eye. I also happen to take the subject matter very personally and I say bravo ladies! It’s time to stand up. It doesn’t matter who or what you are. What matters is what you do!

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