Slow Fuse: Celebrating women powered community grantmaking

Oct 01, 2020

Dear Kindle Project friends,

Three years ago, inspired by the good work of our friends at NewMexicoWomen.Org and their excellent report The Heart of Gender Justice in New Mexico, we answered the call from communities to sit at the funding decision-making table and created an all female-led, grassroots, participatory grantmaking program: Slow Fuse. With a vision of strengthening the gender justice movement in New Mexico, we shifted power into the hands of nine incredible women-identifying Flow Funders for our first statewide Cohort to move resources with trust and in collaboration.

Slow Fuse brought together mothers, daughters, grandmothers, healers, farmers, community organizers, artists, and educators. They came from the border, the mountains, the valley, the dust, and sky. They make posole, educate our young people, write poetry, and they have their ears to the ground and fingers on the pulse of the bright corners in New Mexico. With their wisdom in the room, Slow Fuse moved $300,000 to 42 New Mexican groups over 3 years.

We’ve had the special opportunity to learn from and grow with the Flow Funders, and we are so grateful for their trust in the process. As this chapter of Slow Fuse comes to a close, we feel lucky to share with our field in philanthropy a few significant learnings that this adventure reinforced…

Center gender justice in your giving and grantmaking practices to build meaningful change.
Support locally with local partners as a powerful intervention to increasingly globalized challenges.
Share power to respond to real needs in the community and to build stronger, longer-lasting bonds that move beyond the money.
Commit for the long haul to build trusting relationships and create a lasting contribution.
Create safe spaces to foster personal and collective empowerment.
Stretch beyond your comfort zone to expand knowledge, possibility, and imagination.

Without further ado, please join us in celebrating our Slow Fuse Flow Funders and the network of New Mexican groups that were supported…

SLOW FUSE FLOW-FUNDERS

Beva Sanchez-Padilla
Southwest Organizing Project
Slow Fuse’s funders were most innovative with the belief that “women trust women.” The focus of this women-led fund was to break open traditional forms of philanthropy through the democratization of funding-power and to get these resources to reach unlikely places. They were very successful at allowing self-identifying women to do exactly that. Getting money, giving financial support to the groups and individuals we work with, and support in any way was new and great. We are thankful to be able to support these healers, innovators, activists, and visionaries doing critical economic, environmental, transformative, and healing work. Thank you, Slow Fuse, for allowing the program I focus on, Con Mujeres Gender Justice, to uplift the work of self-identified women with trust and money. The ways that Slow Fuse moved money to those who are doing important work was almost too simple; it was monumental to see this done with trust and knowledge that the funds will enhance their transformative work. The New Mexico members of the cohorts are now “in the same room,” so to speak, AND are able to collaborate, join forces, and empower each other. The financial support has provided a gallon bucket for taking the water up the hill versus the cups many have been using. Thank you so much.

Cathryn McGill
New Mexico Black Leadership Council
I was a member of the Slow Fuse Fund Cohort for two years. When I received the email invitation the first year, I was surprised and delighted, and I didn’t even know how my name and organization were included in the mix. Just being asked to participate was a turning point for me as an African-American woman leading a nonprofit organization. And then, when I had the opportunity to sit in a room with powerful women who just understood and welcomed me to a leadership table without question or judgment, I had a renewed sense of hope for the future. Something in me shifted in a real way. I got some answers to more than a few difficult questions about myself and about this community I have pledged to serve. Figuring out who to give to and why is not an easy task. Switching hats to become the philanthropist was simultaneously challenging and joyful—I gained an appreciation for the huge responsibility funders face to “get” it and “give” it right. In whatever small way, I hope I cracked the philanthropy code. I will forever cherish this opportunity to build community with other women who share my beliefs that the foundations of giving can be assets-based, equitable, and heart-centered. From the initial invitation to participate that covered me with feelings of validation and appreciation, I now have a group of sisters who I hope realize that if they ever need me, all they have to do is call. And, as my beloved grandmother used to say, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll be there.” Asante and Ase.

Daisy A. Maldonado
Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County
The field of philanthropy needs community members at the table when making funding decisions because not only are they already doing the work of supporting their community, but they also know what their community needs and how to best deliver that support. Slow Fuse should impact philanthropy by demonstrating how to involve community members to create a lasting impact at the community level.

Dalene Coriz
Brave Girls, the Santa Fe Indian School
Slow Fuse is especially important in the world now because of the many projects being envisioned and implemented daily with the goal of bettering communities. Some of these much-needed programs begin with little to no funding but could use support to continue their work. Slow Fuse has made an impact on gender justice in New Mexico by supporting community work in the areas that really need focusing on, such as women’s health, education, and grassroots initiatives. Some of these projects may not receive attention otherwise. We have been able to shed some light on these important organizations and efforts. As an employee at a non-profit and a founder of a girls’ leadership program, I know how important it is to be able to receive funds, and how it feels to give as well. It is important to continue to learn and share about projects that might not receive attention if there was no direct engagement and dialogue with people involved. By providing a seat at the table, some of these projects and organizations can be taken to the next level.

Fatima van Hattum
NewMexicoWomen.Org
When NMW.O published our 2017 report The Heart of Gender Justice in New Mexico, we never imagined that such an impactful, creative, and loving collaboration would emerge from it. Slow Fuse deepened and built upon the findings from the report, and enabled nine phenomenal women from across New Mexico to invest in our own communities and visions for gender and social justice. For most of us, it is an incredibly rare opportunity to be able to make decisions about how funds enter our community and who receives them. Many of us are already rooted in communities that rely on reciprocity, gift exchange, and mutual support. Slow Fuse embodied this same ethos—trusting women to make decisions, giving us space to gather, cooking, and eating together, sharing laughs and sorrows, trading ideas and stories, and giving money back to our communities. Impact and causality are notoriously difficult to pinpoint, but one need only look at the incredible group of organizations that were supported through Slow Fuse for examples of its effects. And, less visible but also deeply potent and profound, a group of women were able to gather as a cohort over the course of several years, and the impacts of those relationships will continue to unfold across our communities for years to come. Thank you, Kindle Project, for including us in this program and for this gesture of generosity.

Jaycee Lewis
Solace Crisis Treatment Center’s Jewelry Collective
Slow Fuse is powerful alchemy

Empowerment
All of the women I connected with during the project shared how being asked to participate made them feel. Empowered was a common theme. The act of being invited (twice!) and trusted left me feeling powerful. Trusted to brave. Trusted to be vulnerable. A feeling which remains 💪

Connection
Participation in Kindle Project does not occur in a bubble. We all support and uplift each other. We all practice trust via vulnerability. The most powerful connection for me is the connection with the organizations I funded. I love seeing them continue to do the work and grow even more fierce and determined each day 🔥

Disruption
Kindle Project disrupted my understanding of what philanthropy is, and more importantly who can participate. Philanthropy is not just an elite system. Philanthropy is something I can participate in right here, right now, as I am today—Gucci slippers not required. Kindle Project shattered any doubt I had about my own worth and power. Fuck permission, we’ll take our space at the table, thank you very much 👯‍♀️

Margaret Garcia
Agriculture Implementation Research and Education
Slow Fuse has allowed me to acknowledge and nourish the innovators and leaders whose intention is problem-solving for their own communities. It is a direct counter to the way many organizations magnify and embellish disparities and problems that do not belong to them in the name of seeking funding. The act of empowering women rooted in their community to empower other women is at the heart of gender justice and the dismantling of racism, classism, and all forms of oppression. Slow Fuse has made an impact on gender justice in New Mexico by inviting a diverse group of female leaders, encouraging us to connect and form new alliances, entrusting us to determine what gender justice means, and allowing us to support it with small grants. Many of the individuals and organizations I chose to fund are carried by the fire of their will and love for people and place, so allowing them to have money is simply adding oxygen to their fire. Having the opportunity to be a flow funder invited me to reflect on the ways philanthropy has influenced power dynamics, but it also allowed me to feel and share the power and heavy responsibility of deciding where funding goes. I feel certain that communities have the right to their own determination and that small gestures of support can make huge impacts. Flow funding is a deeply powerful and virtuous way to share the influence and power of money.

Tara Evonne Trudell
Karma Star Prayer Bead Project
Slow Fuse has given me a sense of understanding of the many dynamics of philanthropy—the good, the bad, and the ugly. To ask questions and weigh outcomes. I was encouraged to use funds as a source of energy to flow back out to other organizations or persons who are also vital in their communities and tirelessly doing the work. To be given the opportunity to learn about other women doing the work is refreshing and allows us a space to come together and trust the sharing process. This gathering of women, brought to the table to strengthen their own bonds of sisterhood, is a powerful connection and this energetic source is then flowed back into all our communities, families, and journeys. With Kindle Project, I feel seen and heard. This is so important in a world that needs to remember that it is the women coming together that will be the change. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this project. Pidamaya ye.

Yvonne McPheeters
Accion
Slow Fuse was an emotional and amazing experience. It was great to be part of a cohort of women from all over the state and to be introduced to causes and organizations that I’d never heard of before. During this time of instability and division, it was refreshing to be part of something positive that’s making real investments in our community.

SLOW FUSE GRANTEES

Abuela’s Medicina is a group of healers and community organizers dedicated to honoring the legacy of Doña Maclovia Sanchez de Zamora, our abuelas, and elders by providing access to quality and ethical traditional ancestral medicine, and to facilitate the preservation and continuation of this medicine and traditions. Our vision is to create communities of self-healers and to help people reclaim their power to heal naturally.

Dedicated to providing the tools entrepreneurs need to operate, grow, or start their business, Accion offers small business loans ranging from $1,000 to $1 million, along with support services, including credit reporting, business counseling, and business resource events.

Since inception, Accion has issued more than 13,128 loans totaling $128.6 million to 8,572 small businesses in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Accion’s client businesses have created or sustained 18,080 jobs. Accion serves a target market of underserved entrepreneurs who face systemic barriers to accessing credit. Each year, approximately 89 percent of our clients are low-to-moderate-income, minority, and/or women entrepreneurs.

Agriculture Implementation Research & Education is working to cultivate as many fields and gardens with as many crops and as many people as possible in various communities throughout the Middle and Upper Rio Grande. For schools, service corps, and community groups we offer sustainable agriculture presentations, demonstrations, and workshops. To address our contemporary context of climate change and food insecurity, we also maintain a “living seed library” of locally adapted seeds for agricultural expansion and success.

The project is to address the soul sickness/soul separation in our communities. Our programs focus is towards Traditional Medicine/ Self Care. We have been shattered with this epidemic of addiction. Bringing support to the individual struggling with addiction, offering support to the family, and the re-engage of community, re awakening “Querencia” was the only way we could begin to heal. Providing these services offers the resiliency support needed to heal 7 generations back and 7 generations forward. A healthy individual body, mind, and emotion, strengthens their family, a united family rebuilds community and with a healthy community anything is possible.

BHNM is a resource for African-Americans and Black people in New Mexico, dedicated to providing greater access to information from the New Mexico Department of Health, local organizations, and local and national health professionals. It is also a resource for people and organizations working to improve community health through collaborative grassroots efforts. We work to address the high health disparity rates of Black/African-American infant and maternal mortality, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease through innovative and collaborative programming. We center the voices, leadership, experience and expertise of black women and people in the design and implementation of policy and practice to reduce health inequities and change structures and mentalities that have allowed racism to dominate public health for so long.

Brave Girls is an out-of-school leadership and empowerment program for Pueblo Indian girls, grades 7-12, at the Santa Fe Indian School, an historic American Indian boarding school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The participants of Brave Girls experience the promotion and development of: Mentorship, Networking, Consciousness-Building, and Enrichment opportunities throughout the course of the year through the intentional programming geared towards helping them meet our goals and objectives.

Breath of My Heart Birthplace is a midwifery clinic and licensed birth center that works to improve access to quality prenatal care, and improve maternal and infant health outcomes in rural and frontier communities of northern New Mexico, serving families through a culturally-appropriate midwifery model of care.

The BMH midwifery clinic provides direct services in the Espanola valley, serving approximately 200 individual clients and approximately 400 people are served indirectly through family involvement. BMH centers Native American, Hispanic/Chicano, immigrant, LGBTQ and Young Parents in direct service. 65-80% of our clientele identify as women-of-color and 70-90% of our clients qualify as low-income in a given year.

Casa de Salud is a 14 year-old community-based, independent integrative care health center serving a patient base that is primarily Chicanx-Mexicanx in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. We provide affordable primary care services for those without insurance, harm reduction services, women’s health services including breast and cervical cancer detection and guidance, and also serve the transgender community. Our Strong Roots addictions recovery program combines suboxone medication with reiki, acupuncture, counseling, massage, and healing circles which take place weekly for Strong Roots patients and are conducted by Family Nurse Practitioner and Curandera Lorraine Córdova and Reiki Master Paula Terrero.

Chainbreaker is a membership-led economic and environmental justice organization. We engage in community organizing to realize our mission, which is to expand access to affordable transportation and support economically and ecologically sustainable communities for low-income people. Since being founded in 2004 we’ve grown from a loose-knit group into a powerful community organization with nearly 700 members. Through our Bicycle Resource Center, we’ve distributed over 3,500 bikes to people who would otherwise have been unable to afford one and our organizing work has contributed to a thriving movement for civil rights and environmental justice in Santa Fe and around the country.

Changing Woman Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit organization with the mission to renew cultural birth knowledge to empower and reclaim indigenous sovereignty of women’s medicine and life way teachings to promote reproductive wellness and healing through holistic approaches. We are doing this by providing culturally centered women’s health and birth services to Native American families on and off the reservations in New Mexico. In 2019, we launched the Corn Mother Easy Access Clinic, and White Shell Woman homebirth services. All of our programs are aimed at addressing known health disparities in maternal health for Native American women around transportation, education, access to healthy foods, and access to traditional medicine and knowledge, as well as creating a healthcare delivery model that supports indigenous knowledge systems. All of our clients will have access to plant medicines from their territories and will receive produce and meat with education around indigenous traditional diets to support their pregnancies.

Child Of All Nations has been in existence since 1934. The objective covers a wide variety of services stemming from social services, education, rehabilitation research development, self sufficiency, and cottage industries to help support the non-profit.

Our philosophy is based on our purpose for being on this planet. We are in service for planetary peace, the healing of humanity, caretaker of the earth, and provider/protector of the children. This is an assignment assigned by the vision of the ancestors who have passed on this vision from generation to generation. This is the final phase of work which took eons to build.

College Horizons is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to facilitating the higher education of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth. Since 1998, we have served over 3,300 students through college admissions and financial aid workshops. Our organization was founded to fill the access gap that many bright and talented Native students face when they do not receive quality college counseling. We provide a six-day “crash course” where high school juniors and seniors work directly with admissions officers, college counselors, and essay specialists to gain a better understanding of the college application process – 99% of our alumni proceed directly to college!

Community Mentor Network’s (CMN) mission is to provide mentors who will provide excellent service to middle schoolers (7th and 8th grade), high schoolers (9th through 12th), and gifted students (11th and 12th grade) who are eligible to participate in the PATH program at UNM. We work with a relentless approach of mentoring, tutoring, guidance, and experience. We do that by matching a diverse, successful, professional, well-educated, engaged, life-experienced mentor to our students. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds that predispose them to challenges that hinder their progress in junior and high school. Mentors work in the classroom, one on one, and also in group settings. CMN is also partnering with APS Chartered Schools. As such, every effort possible will be explored and deployed to ensure that each student graduates high school and reaches their personal and educational potential.

The El Valle Women’s Collaborative promotes health, wellness and economic development in the El Valle rural community. One of EVWC’s largest projects is Bueno Para Todos cooperative. Bueno Para Todos, a BIPOC-led farm with ally supporters, is creating an edible food forest to develop a local food hub. The food forest will provide access to foods that would otherwise take one hour of drive time to get to. BPT members draw upon ancestral knowledge for farming practices, care for water, medicines and foods. BPT has a partnership with the United World College and provides education to local residents and students.

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.

Located in Santa Clara Pueblo, Flowering Tree is working with health issues of native communities through the use of foods as medicine. Creating “The Pueblo Food Experience” project, we showed that eating our original pre-contact foods helped improve health in every area. From this study, we created a cookbook, presentations, short film, and helped another film called Return (centered around women leading health movements in Native country). We built a traditional women’s cooking house for traditional cooking, a place for women to gather, share, and have ceremony. Flowering Tree continues to work towards getting our original foods back into the community.

The Gadsden Early Childhood Coalition (GECC) came together in April 2016, and currently has members from both the private and public sectors, and over 20 organizations. GECC members have collaborated to provide 5 workshops for early-childhood educators and 10 family workshop/events. In the spring of 2020, GECC is partnering with Dona Ana EC Coalition to bring a Parent Expo for expectant parents and parents of children 0-5 to increase knowledge of community resources. In addition, we plan on having an Early Literacy Event for area families to expand awareness of self-care for family well-being and knowing your limits.

Girls Inc. of Santa Fe inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold by providing girls with life-changing experiences and real solutions to the unique issues girls face. Girls Inc. gives girls the tools and support they need to succeed, including trained professionals who mentor and guide them in a safe girls-only environment; peers who share their drive and aspirations; and researched-based programming. At Girls Inc., girls learn to set and achieve goals, bolding confront challenges, resist peer pressure, and see college as attainable. Our programming focuses on healthy living (Strong); academic enrichment and support (Smart); and life skills and independence (Bold). Funds from this grant will be used to support programming with indigenous girls on the pueblos and at our center.

Mission Statement

“We embrace the Pueblo teachings of love, respect and care, working together improving the life ways of our people in order to provide an enhanced and sustainable environment for generations to come.”

We established an organization of interested persons based at the Sovereign Santa Clara Pueblo Nation that;

  • Engages in activities that include discussions, workshops, and presentations that will empower and enhance Pueblo People’s connection to ancestral teachings and homelands within and around the four Sacred Mountains.
  • Initiates and/or participates in positive tasks that will assist and/or promote the continuous cultural aspects, beliefs and life ways that are vital to the existence of Pueblo People.
  • Publicizes our concerns that certain toxic materials pose health risks to our environment and the well being of native peoples, who have occupied and survived in this area for hundreds of years.
  • Collaborates with Tribal programs, government, non-governmental agencies and organizations.
  • Gathers and disseminates factual information to help educate communities about contaminated sites and illnesses that are caused by exposures to radioactive materials and toxic chemicals.
  • Networks and participates in public meetings and projects with diverse organizations amid common goals that emphasize and discuss the need for accountability and responsibility for clean up of contaminated sites, renewable energy and climate change.

These purposes allow us to generate a collaborative atmosphere in which many diverse organizations within the state of New Mexico, national and global can work together to improve the life ways of its citizens in order to provide for an enhanced and sustainable environment for generations to come.

It is our mission to restore health and balance for all people and for our environment by utilizing traditional knowledge and wisdom, respect-filled land-based practices, ceremonies, and a deep understanding of the dynamics and peoples of our communities. For over 30 years, we have worked to revitalize and preserve our languages and traditions of our cultures of origin, engage in proactive response to climate adaptation, cultivate green pathways in our economic development, and build individual and community capacity from within, standing upon our traditional wisdom. We work to change systems that perpetuate environmental health disparities related to the impact of decades of environmental degradation by the mining industry, institutional racism and multi-generational trauma. Visit our website and social media sites for more information about Indigenous Lifeways current programs and our Covid-19 response efforts; Social Justice Fellowship Program, Indigenous Womxn Working Group, and McKinley Mutual Aid.

Indigenous Women Rising is a Native-led and Native-centered reproductive justice collective. We focus on three main areas: an abortion fund exclusively for Native peoples in the United States and Canada seeking abortion care in the United States; breastfeeding and birth justice for Native people who need culturally relevant care to have better health outcomes for parents and babies; and sex education, which we affectionately call, “NDN Sex Ed”.  The sex education part of what we do currently includes curriculum development with a Native woman- owned business, Native Community Development Associates, to not only be culturally relevant (we are including capacity building for parents, grandparents, and community workers to have the skills to bring up sex and encourage bodily autonomy without shaming) but also meet the State of New Mexico standards. We are also launching a texting hotline for our Native communities to ask questions about sex and bodies that we may not feel comfortable asking a family member or healthcare provider (because of racism, microaggressions, shaming, etc.). While much of the work we do is focused on New Mexico’s Native communities, we have brought in other Native people from around the country into our collective.

Kalpulli lzkalli (House of Light Community) is a community of families working together to create an intergenerational action and resource center to promote, preserve, and protect cultural and traditional practices.  We are dedicated to community healing through these practices which include agriculture, medicine and traditional healing, and ceremony, as well as the use of art, music, dance, writing and individual creativity to enhance personal, family, community and general human development.  We are committed to “social change” that advocates and supports sustainable development that will protect Mother Earth and foster her renewal and healing.

This project, by Tara Evonne Trudell, will be 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.

Keres Children’s Learning Center (KCLC) continues to impact the wider world of Indigenous Education and Montessori Education. KCLC has proven that Education can be done differently. Standing on the shoulders of those who came before us, KCLC has contributed a key plank in the foundation of language revitalization and educational sovereignty. KCLC has established a curriculum and methods that have resulted in commitment and support from Cochiti Pueblo tribal leadership and the wider community. Keres language learning is always our most important goal, and we are always looking for ways to improve the ways we offer Keres.

La Semilla is a woman of color led organization advancing transformative work that articulates a culturally grounded vision for good food system development at the confluence of community economic security, nutritional and environmental health, and equitable food-oriented development. Using the local and regional food system as a tool for racial and gender justice, our work in the borderlands centers community wisdom and ancestral knowledge and works to direct resources back into our communities that have been divested and extracted from for centuries.

MAS Comunidad promotes health and wellness by creating and sustaining programs and services that respect local culture, encourage creativity and innovation, and improve the lives of people in the villages surrounding Peñasco. We define health holistically to include physical, emotional, economic, educational, environmental, and spiritual health. Projects include the SPOT for Community Wellness, a service navigation office, The Picuris-Penasco Community Coalition, a health council, an Art Maker Co-op, a ReUse Center, a food bank, and the Peñasco Theatre, with afterschool aerial classes, circus arts summer camps and programs around issues of gender equality and justice, youth empowerment and community building.

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).

The NMBMHC’s purpose is to organize licensed Black Mental Health providers in NM as a resource for the community. Our mission is to enhance awareness of mental health issues and effective approaches in treatment for Black people, to serve as a consultation and referral resource for providers and community members, to provide direct clinical service to the Black community, and to mentor and train students interested in developing as mental health providers to serve the Black community. Our goal is to increase providers’ competency for serving Black consumers, and decrease stigma among consumers about seeking mental health services.

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.

Northern Youth Project (NYP) was founded by teens in 2009 as a platform to develop skills that foster health, academic performance, and personal investment in their communities and the environment, for a brighter tomorrow today.

The initiative works to support the outcomes and opportunities for rural Northern New Mexico youth through hands-on art, agriculture, community service, and leadership projects that honor the past and look to the future.

Northern Youth Project serves young people ages 12 to 21, providing FREE programs and activities year round. The project works to empower teens in putting ideas into action: initiating projects they want to do, focusing on their interests, and engaging in activities driven by their passions.

I have been working with people in recovery from substance abuse for 8 years. I want to  continue using the traditional and ancestral medicinal art from Mexico, especially the temazcal (sweat lodge), mostly in the Valley of Española in northern New Mexico. I also want to continue working with women with the same ancestral knowledge with the intention to heal trauma derived from violence of gender. My intention is to continue helping women heal their bodies, souls and minds to feel empowered and strong enough to continue or discover their purpose in this earth. My idea is that when a woman heals herself, she will bring that healing to her family and to her community.

“Pueblo Action Alliance is a community driven organization that promotes cultural sustainability by addressing environmental and social impacts in indigenous communities.”

Pueblo Action Alliance was formed by several Pueblo people to promote Environmental Justice that impacts indigenous lands and its people. The organization has thus transitioned into an indigenous women led grassroots organization to forward feminist action in the Environmental Justice Movement. As women, mothers and daughters we are privileged by a matriarchal perspective; by internalizing the violence inflicted against Mother Earth, we can take action to protect her and ourselves. Currently, our work revolves around protecting the Greater Chaco region against oil and gas extraction. We raise awareness and teach our community how to become civically active in the environmental justice movement.

Resolve’s mission is to prevent violence by building skills and inspiring individuals to be agents of personal, community, and cultural change. Our programs teach the origins of violence; how to assess risk and set boundaries for healthy relationships; hands-on interpersonal skills; and strategies to prevent and stop assault for oneself or others. Resolve reaches youth and adults in New Mexico through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits and community groups, as well as public classes. By reducing the fear and impact of violence, we help to create a community where people live powerfully, experience freedom, and pursue joy.

Santa Fe Dreamers Project provides free legal services to immigrants and refugees in New Mexico and West Texas, with a focus on economic and community development, educational attainment, family unity and liberation from detention. We innovate our services to address the barriers that traditionally prevent vulnerable people from accessing lawyers. As the scope of our work grows, our programs are expanding beyond traditional lawyering to incorporate therapy, artistic expression, political organizing, and working with housing and community building.

The Women’s Jewelry Collective, a project of Solace Crisis Treatment Center, was created to unify and empower immigrant women who are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Over the last 14 years, approximately 200 women have participated in this project. At any given time, a group of approximately 10 women meets at Solace to share their life stories and support each other as they make jewelry to sell at street fairs and other venues. The members collectively decide how to distribute the money raised. It might be used to help a member pay a utility bill or cover an unexpected medical emergency.

Somos Un Pueblo Unido, founded in 1995, is a New Mexico immigrant-led organization that promotes worker and racial justice. With a membership of nearly 3,000 people in eight counties, Somos: offers community education about rights and remedies; forges leadership opportunities for immigrants and low-wage workers; provides legal services to wage theft victims; engages Latinos in the political and electoral process; and leads grassroots campaigns for local and national policies that strengthen our communities and advance immigrants’ rights.

STEM Santa Fe advocates for, develops and provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programming, mentoring and resources for youth, especially those under-represented in STEM fields. STEM Santa Fe leads STEM programs in Northern New Mexico that are project-based and hands-on, providing extended learning experiences and mentorships for our youth. We are a volunteer-based organization of STEM professionals serving as mentors and role models. We aim to reduce disparity in educational opportunities by offering our programs at low to no cost to families. STEM Santa Fe envisions a world filled with analytical citizens exploring complex issues for the betterment of society.

The LAB’s mission is to create a sustainable and healthy community through art, communication, and action. Founded by a group of educators, equity advocates, parents, and youth, the LAB addresses the significant gap in impactful youth leadership development services in the Las Cruces area. Our goal is to establish a sustainable creative resource center where youth leadership is cultivated by advancing fairness, creating community cohesion, facilitating the exploration of career and life interests, and incubating entrepreneurship. One major component of the LAB’s current activities is the youth-driven Radio Hour, which has aired on a local community radio station for two years.

The Syndicate is a womyn-led project that celebrates the Black experience, Queer folx, and creatives. We curate spaces for those who are seeking community in the desert, a desert that has a Black population of less than 3% and has limited to no spaces for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) who are gender non-conforming and/or LGBTQ+. The Syndicate’s events range from large-scale installations that highlight the power of rest, social gatherings that encourage people to form bonds through shared culture, and QTPOC closed spaces to grow community.

Three Sisters Collective (3SC) is a Pueblo/Indigenous women-centered grassroots collective based in Santa Fe, NM, that began in the summer of 2017. We seek to re-center a Pueblo/Indigenous presence through arts, education and actions that promote positive representations of this area’s first inhabitants. Santa Fe, also known as O Gah Poh Geh  (White Shell Watering Place) is and always will be Tewa land. This fact must be acknowledged and respected by all Santa Fe’s varied and unique inhabitants in order to promote positive interactions between all community members. For far too long our presence has been marginalized in this city.

During the year of 2017, Vizionz-Sankofa became aware that African Refugees and Immigrants had hardly been equipped and empowered to thrive and contribute to the communities of their new homes. Vizionz-Sankofa created English and technology classes specifically for African Refugees, who are taught incorporating the use of their native languages. Vizionz-Sankofa’s goals and objectives are to (1) enhance educational opportunities, (2) teach cultural and self- advocacy, (3) provide job readiness and skill-training opportunities, and (4) promote racial and cultural inclusion. The majority of the services provided by Vizionz-Sankofa are done in the International District of Albuquerque.

The Women’s Intercultural Center is a rural grassroots organization based in Anthony. Its mission is to provide a place for women to learn and work together to develop their social, spiritual, economic and political potential.  The Center was founded by 14 women of the community and two Sisters of Mercy to provide alternative education for immigrant women with limited education and to address isolation which often led to depression. The Center originally served 35 women of the Anthony community; today it serves over 3,400 women from Southern NM and West TX.