Issue-Based Coalitions

Issue-based coalitions are the primary "on-ramps" to community engagement work for students hoping to get involved with the local community. Coalitions are defined as groups of individuals working together to support progress and change-making in the realm of a specific issue area. There are ten coalitions affiliated with the CCE, which revolve around the various issue areas listed below. The overarching goal for each of these coalitions is to promote, support, and integrate the existing community work being done on and beyond Colorado College's campus, and so we invite all of our community members to participate in the coalition programming!

Monthly coalition meetings are facilitated by Issue Organizers. The Issue Organizers are a group of CCE interns who work collectively through the CCE Co-op and each have an issue-based coalition that they oversee. They are designated peer facilitators and connectors for students, staff, faculty, and community partners who either want to find an on-ramp to work in that issue-area or who have relevant events, opportunities, and knowledge that could be shared and built upon.

In addition to the regular all-coalition meetings held by Issue Organizers, project-based meetings will pop up as needed while new community partner needs arise. Coalition members have the opportunity of contributing to or leading new issue-based projects and working collaboratively to meet the end goals of each project. You can learn more about the opportunities for project-based work on this page.

 Coalition Goals:

  • Relationship-Building: Cultivate intracampus and campus/community relationships to lay a foundation for collaboration.
  • Collective Identity: Enhanced shared identity among students, student organizations, community partners, and staff/faculty within issue areas.
  • Co-Creation: During COVID times, connect campus change-makers (students, staff, and faculty) to community-based virtual project needs submitted through the PEAK Inquiry Project platform. Small groups within the coalition co-create these capacity building projects for local organizations. In the future, this work of co-creation may be expanded to include campaigns and/or awareness initiatives.
  • Awareness Raising: Increase awareness of existing partnerships and projects related to the issue-area, to better connect interested students to existing opportunities.
  • Co-Learning: Establish learning communities in an effort to learn together and from one another about issues areas, deepening informed and intentional engagement.

Why should students join an issue-based coalition?

  • To transform ideas about change into actions
  • To sharpen skills like:
    • Community organizing
    • Volunteer management
    • Event planning
    • Public relations/communications
    • Qualitative research
  • To gain research and project-based experience
    • Potential foundation for a senior thesis or capstone project
    • Ideal experience for certain job applications
    • Useful skills for students interested in studying/working on public policy
  • To access campus & community mentors
  • To earn hours towards CES, CEL & CEF requirements


Ready to join an issue-based coalition?

Click on the individual listserv links below to join the communication groups where general coalition information-sharing takes place and register for the coalition meetings to get updates for upcoming meetings. Our coalitions will communicate through Outlook groups, which require your CC single sign-on credentials to access. Community Partners interested in joining a coalition can reach out to Niki Sosa Gallegos to be added to the listservs. 


What issue areas do the different coalitions represent?


K-12 Education & Youth Organizing
Issue Organizer: Luke Ortiz-Grabe '25

Join the Listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the K-12 Education & Youth Organizing Coalition Meetings.

Arts and Media for Social Change
Issue Organizer: Finn Mott '24

Join the Listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Arts & Media Coalition Meetings.

Environment & Ecology
Issue Organizer: Anna Vera '22

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Environment & Ecology Coalition Meetings.

Gender & Sexuality
Issue Organizer: Jaxon Hoskinson '24

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Gender & Sexuality Coalition Meetings.

Racial Equity *(aligns with Collective for Anti-Racism and Liberation (CAL))
Issue Organizer: Surbhi Bhutani '22 (liaison with CAL)

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Racial Equity Coalition Meetings.


Join CAL's greater CC community on GroupMe!

Paraprofessional Project Advisor: Eliza Guion, Sociology Department

Immigrant & Refugee Justice *(aligns with Refugee Alliance)
Issue Organizer: Peniel Owusu-Ansah '24

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Immigrant & Refugee Justice Coalition Meetings.

Criminal Justice *(aligns with Prison Project)
Issue Organizer: Denise Geronimo '24

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Criminal Justice Coalition Meetings.


Join Now (Slack)! (Prison Project and CAL have merged for 2020-2021)

Poverty & Inequity
Issue Organizer: Ceilidh Shea '22

Join the listerv for regular email updates.

Register the Poverty & Inequity Coalition Meetings.

Health & Accessibility
Issue Organizer: Currently Hiring for 22-23AY

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for Health & Accessibility Coalition Meetings.

Political Advocacy
Issue Organizer: Tom Byron '23

Join the listserv for regular email updates.

Register for the Political Advocacy Coalition Meetings.


NOTE: Coalitions with the asterisk (*) designation are student-led groups that existed before the creation of the coalitions this year, yet operate with similar goals. These groups are stand-ins for CCE-generated coalitions, as we do not want to duplicate the work happening on campus, and so students interested in those issue-areas will be referred to those groups accordingly.

Additional Information

How have these coalitions emerged on Colorado College's campus?

We have been building the foundation for this current coalition structure to exist over the past three years, to foster a culture of collaboration on campus. Issue-based coalitions affiliated with the CCE started back in the summer of 2018, under the guidance of CCE Director Jordan Travis-Radke with support of the Assistant Director and Paraprofessional at the time, with five main coalitions: Prison Project, Refugee Alliance, Education, Political Advocacy, and Sustainable Community Development. The first two coalitions, Prison Project and Refugee Alliance, are both student organizations that continue to serve as examples for what an integrated coalition focused on a single issue-area can look like, while the last three were newly formed groups. As this was the first year of the Co-Op, the main focus was on connecting students within each designated issue-area, and on thinking through what relevant campaigns or projects could be hosted that would support the mission of the coalition.

In 2019-2020, only the three newly formed coalitions (Education, Political Advocacy, and Sustainable Community Development) continued with CCE supervision, and had two Issue Organizers each who were responsible for holding weekly coalition meetings and attending a Community Organizing adjunct class to inform their leadership. While no formal projects were completed by the groups, events such as "Incarceration Nation" and "The Basics of Community Organizing" were held, as well as Open House events that involved phone banking and letter-writing for the Political Advocacy Coalition, asset-mapping and research sessions for the SCD Coalition's project on Martin Drake's early closure and consequential neighborhood development plans, and finally, events with the superintendent of Colorado Springs and other guests for the Education Coalition to help student organization leaders understand the context of K-12 education in Colorado Springs.

We are deeply grateful to all of the past student leaders, volunteers, faculty and staff members, and community partners who have helped inform the direction of this Co-Op structure, and are looking forward to many more years to come of the growth of this student-led operation.


I am still looking for more information about issue-based coalitions, who should I reach out to?

Anyone can get involved! Click on the link above to join the Microsoft Team coalition spaces that interest you, and check out the bios of Issue Organizers through this link.

  • Students may reach out to Sophie Cardin (, CCE student intern - Student Director of the Co-op, for additional information about getting involved.
  • Community partners may reach out to Niki Sosa Gallegos (, the Community Partnerships Coordinator at the CCE, about getting involved.
Report an issue - Last updated: 03/23/2022