Enhancing Latinx Engagement in Environmental Justice

Community Driven Approach. Will they fight for me?

Leer la versión en español aquí


In Colorado, Latinx communities have historically been excluded from the conversations that shape many environmental and conservation policies. This oversight has led to solutions that perpetuate injustices and marginalize the Latinx voices in civic processes.

Protégete, a Latinx-led and Latinx-serving program under Conservation Colorado, is dedicated to changing that by building Latinx environmental leadership and power to help drive climate, land, water and environmental justice policy forward.

During a critical juncture in Protégete’s development, the organization wanted to step into this new chapter ensuring the organization was meeting the needs of Latinx community members in a relevant and culturally affirming manner.



The Goals

  • Inform the process of ensuring Latinx representation in environmental and climate policy for Colorado
  • Better understand of areas of strength and opportunities in Protégete’s programming
  • Learn about additional helpful or needed policies from the Latinx community perspective



The Solution: Implementing a Community-Driven Design Approach

Protégete and ResultsLab partnered to do a broader landscape analysis? and asset mapping process?. The project involved three distinct phases: articulating the impact priorities for the organization, measuring community sentiments and reflections, and engaging in a community-driven program co-design process.


Project Phase 1 – Align:

This first phase set the foundation to make sure everyone was on the same page and ready to move forward together. We brought together the team at Protégete to ensure alignment on what the team wanted to learn through data (also what we at ResultsLab call ‘learning questions’). We co-designed the data collection tools and made a plan for how we would collect information and where we should focus our efforts in Colorado.

Project Phase 2 – Capture:

In the second phase, we took action on the data collection plan using the data collection tools designed in phase one. To gain deeper insights on climate impacts and concerns within the Latinx communities in Colorado, we:

  • Launched a community survey, gathering 238 responses
  • Facilitated four focus groups in both English and Spanish with community members
  • Led a series of five interviews with funders to identify areas where they believed additional environmental advocacy and environmentally responsive policies are needed


Project Phase 3 – Transform:

In the third phase, we facilitated a program and initiatives co-design process with Protégete and members of Protégete’s community. This session, inspired by the National Equity Project’s Liberatory Design approach, was an opportunity to elevate the voices of communities directly impacted by Protégete’s program design decisions. Participants received an overview of the data results from phase two. They then collaborated to brainstorm creative and effective program solutions to address community challenges that they had learned from the data results, and from their firsthand experience.



Protégete recognizes that inclusive programming strategy and design are vital to address the climate injustices that negatively impact Colorado Latinx communities. It ultimately allows them to positively affirm that they are there to support, advocate for, partner with, and mobilize their community.

Throughout this project, we gained valuable insights from community members around:

  • The level of awareness and the perceived value of Protégete within the Latinx communities in Colorado
  • The strengths and opportunities to support the growth of Protégete’s programs
  • Strategic partnerships for Protégete to leverage in order to ensure they successfully advocate for equitable access to a healthy environment
  • The major environmental concerns and degree of trust in legislators representing Latinx priorities


This approach not only led to a deeper understanding of community needs and priorities but also fostered a sense of partnership that is instrumental in ensuring Latinx representation in environmental and climate policy for Colorado.


Leer la versión en español aquí


Landscape Analysis: a data collection method to help understand the broader context, strengths, resources and needs of a particular community.


Asset Mapping: a process of identifying and gathering information about the services, benefits, and resources within the community, such as individuals’ skill sets, organizational resources, physical space, institutions, associations, etc.