Gloria Leyba has spent her adult life educating, advocating, and organizing for social justice. She’s a first generation daughter of an indigenous Mexican mother, and has Spanish roots preceding the founding of the USA on her father’s side. She tells KGNU’s Tish Beauford that she came of age in the heat of the Chicanx movement, anti-Vietnam war movement, and white women’s liberation movement of the 60’s and 70’s.
Gloria served as a Colorado State Representative from 1995 to 2000, sponsoring pioneering legislation to ban sexual identity discrimination, decriminalize sexual activity of consenting teens, expand health care coverage for babies born with congenital disabilities, and juvenile justice reform.
Representative Leyba was honored by the Colorado Nonprofit Association with a Public Policy Lifetime Leadership award in 2001.
Gloria retired from the legislature to serve as a volunteer with indigenous Maya women in Guatemala, work that continues today.
This month she traveled around Guatemala speaking with families whose loved ones disappeared or were detained migrating to the United States and with those whose family members live in the shadows fearing la migra.
Guatemalan friends voiced despair with their corrupt government, the terror of unabated crime and violence, and the absence of economic promise.
Gloria’s activism in the past 20 years has focused on reproductive justice and immigrant rights. She is involved with Sanctuary for All, Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, and Abolish ICE.