Since its inception in 2011, the Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference has demonstrated a robust curriculum and provided high level speakers on a variety of topics related to advocacy. In just 6 years, its attendance has grown quickly and steadily, and now includes participants from as far away as Rhode Island and Hawaii.
Yet, just 10 years ago, the idea of a statewide conference for sexual and domestic violence advocates was not yet conceived. It all started back in 2008… Violence Free Colorado hosted its first annual statewide conference in Colorado Springs with a New Worker Track, an Advanced Advocacy Track, and an Executive Director Track. It also included a Leadership Institute for People of Color. The next year, Ft. Collins hosted the event.
As the conference started to expand, Violence Free Colorado and CCASA teamed up to better provide a more comprehensive curriculum that would benefit the often overlapping issue and work of community based sexual assault and domestic violence advocates around Colorado. In 2011, the CAIA was officially convened and branded. Knowing how challenging (and rewarding!) the work of advocates and allied professionals is, the two coalitions decided to host the annual conference in Vail, CO, in order to combine learning with a retreat-like feel, weaving the concept of self-care into the very fabric of the training.
Now in its 6th year, CAIA has grown to almost 300 attendees from across the country, who gather to share their experiences, successes, challenges, and benefit from teachings of local and national experts.