Announcing New Kindle Grantees

Jul 19, 2019
Announcing New Kindle Grantees Whose Work Locally Resonates Universally

It has never been more important to organize locally, and no one does it better than this crop of New Mexico-based organizers and artists who we are proud to present as Kindle Project grantees!

These groups walk different but parallel paths—they are all inspiring movers and shakers on the front lines of progress for gender, racial, and economic justice. Their work demonstrates how ground-up community organizing and locally focused arts programming have impacts that resonate across social movements and throughout culture. We are psyched to support their work.

This won’t be the last you hear of their badassery, so take a minute to get to know them…

NM Con Mujeres is an intergenerational gender justice platform within the SouthWest Organizing Project, a 36 year old social and environmental justice organization.  The mission of Con Mujeres is to not only expose the statistical and symptomatic affects of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism, but to look at these structures as roots of misogyny, feminization of poverty and the degradation of our mother earth. Traditional cultural wisdom and practices, education and healing circles, engaging voices and experiences of those most affected by violence and poverty, occupying public spaces, making elected officials accountable, building relationships with sister organizations statewide, nationally and internationally is how we resist unfair laws, defend our communities, articulate truths and facts, heal and respect ourselves – our communities and our planet to strategize, co create and build new and historic practices for peaceful and healthful forms of public coexistence.

The Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County (EC) is a community engagement initiative that works with low-income, marginalized rural (colonia) and urban communities in the county.  EC endeavors to partner with community members and support their efforts to address the structural barriers they experience in accessing quality education, equitable employment, holistic healthcare services along with advocating for the improvement of community infrastructure. EC takes a strength-based approach with communities when providing leadership development and community organizing techniques. EC uses these methodologies to collaborate with communities and youth alike to build, organize and lead community projects and policy changing campaigns.

The NMBHOC’s mission is to preserve the rich cultural heritage that African Americans have made to the state of NM and the US. We work year round to build coalitions, leverage resources and create programming in the black community in New Mexico. We produce an annual slate of arts-based community development events that cover six focus areas: Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Education, Small Business Promotion, Positive Youth Development and Health. Our current major goals are to expand our programs in the areas of positive youth development and strengthening a number of emerging community coalitions (such as the NM Black Mental Health Coalition, and others).

NewMexicoWomen.Org (NMW.O) works to advance opportunities for self-identifying women and girls statewide so they can lead healthy, self-sufficient, and empowered lives. Our strategy is to Educate, Lead, and Invest through trainings, research, convenings, grantmaking, and serving as a statewide hub and resource. Our priority focus is Gender Justice and Healing which connects gender to social, racial, environmental, and economic justice.

Five workshops scheduled throughout the state of New Mexico to bring together families and communities to honor their/our own Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). We will hold space for sharing our stories and for our MMIW with a ceremony that will involve typing names of the women on vintage typewriters and rolling the names into prayer beads. We will make two beads: one for the family and one for the MMIW Jingle Dress that will be the end result of the project. There will also be an audio recording of the names to be part of the final installation.

“Without Art There is NO MOVEMENT”. Our project gives opportunities through the arts to our local community of immigrants and people of color. We want to meet the unmet artistic needs of our community by creating opportunities through workshops, teach ins, mural projects, and other mentoring possibilities. We want to infiltrate local galleries, art spaces, art schools with alternative narratives told by our immigrants families and people of color. We want to nurture sustainable art practices for diverse members of our community that have been historically silenced. We aim to nurture and help heal historical wounds and empower individuals through the arts.

Lorenzo P. Lewis is the founder of The Confess Project, an initiative that confronts the stigma around mental health for men of color. Being born in prison to an incarcerated mother and struggling with his own mental health throughout his life, Lorenzo knows from first-hand experience how important it is to increase positive mental health awareness and especially in marginal and communities of color. The Confess Project has the first in the US organization to train Barbers to become Mental Health Advocates in their local communities. Since the inception The Confess Project has trained Barbers across seven states while continuing its effort across multiple states and regions.