The New Mexico Health Equity Partnership, (HEP) believes every New Mexican should have the opportunity to lead a healthy life, live in neighborhoods where our children and families thrive, and have a say in the decisions that impact their communities and their lives. Our team remains dedicated to investing in the leadership and uplifting the wisdom and stories of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color to re-imagine and move towards a just, equitable, and healthy world. Through creative online engagement, we are honored to work with community partners to create the space for critical connections to be fostered and narratives to be reclaimed.
In this newsletter, we congratulate the Native Youth on the Move cohort for their work completing a photovoice project tied to their mission and for presenting their photos and narratives at the celebratory Cyber Huddle on July 15!
We highlight graphic artist and cartoonist, Louie Gamon who is AmeriCorps Vista with Doña Ana Communities United. Louie has brought joy and creativity to online community building sessions, by teaching sessions on cartooning. In an interview with HEP, Louie shares his journey into graphic harvesting and thereby illustrates how graphics can enhance the ways in which we learn.
Over the past few months, the HEP team has been partnering closely with the Con Alma Health Foundation to distribute Robert Wood Johnson funds to New Mexico nonprofits that are providing basic needs to people most impacted by COVID-19. We are excited to also partner with Con Alma to distribute W.K. Kellogg funds for COVID-19 Relief for Immigrant Communities in New Mexico. Please scroll down to learn more about this funding opportunity.
Native Youth on the Move
Reclaiming Narratives via Photovoice
On July 15, Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3F) and the New Mexico Health Equity Partnership (HEP) co-hosted a Cyber Huddle for Native Youth on the Move (NYM). The Cyber Huddle was a celebratory moment which focused on the NYM cohort’s photovoice presentations. At the Cyber Huddle the NYM teams told their own stories, celebrated their work, solved their own challenges, and made “asks” to specific stakeholders to create positive change in the world, aligned with the NYM mission.
NYM mission: “Rooted in tradition to cultivate a vision for Native youth to break barriers to live a healthy lifestyle and be positive role models in their communities.”
The HEP team would like to congratulate and honor the NYM teams who presented their photos and narratives. We give a big shout out to: Cycles of Life; Pueblo of Laguna Sports and Wellness; National Indian Youth Council; Native American Community Academy; NB3 FIT; Spirit of Hoops; Running Medicine; Tamaya Youth Wellness and Recreation Program; and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. Some key themes from the presentations, included taking youth to the water; creating loving environments; healing through movement; and the importance of social bonds with mentors, friends, and family. The presentations left the cohort feeling inspired, uplifted, and happy! As Renee Goldtooth with NB3F, indicated in her closing remarks for the celebration, "through the photovoice process, the NYM teams are reclaiming their narratives, they are keeping track of their work, and using their stories for medicine to heal. Today, everyone sang to each other in a good way!"
The HEP team is grateful to partner with the NYM teams, NB3F, Mabel Gonzalez with Mavel Photography, and Taslim van Hattum as part of this amazing, meaningful, and powerful photovoice process.
Taslim van Hattum graphically recorded the photovoice presentations.
Mabel Gonzalez of Mavel Photography guided the photovoice process. Photovoice is community-based participatory action research. It offers community members, that are often excluded from decision making processes, the opportunity to creatively document their voices and vision about their lives, community and concerns.
Graphics Can Enhance the Ways in which we Learn!
In November 2019, HEP partners participated in a two-day Graphic Harvesting workshop facilitated by the Visual Sisterhood. Because there were so many amazing and inspiring community members who attended the training and have continued to cultivate this craft, we are highlighting one graphic artists each month. The person we are highlighting this month is Louie Gamon. While Louie didn’t participate in the training, he joined Doña Ana Communities United, as an AmeriCorps VISTA shortly after and learned that what he had been doing his whole life was graphic harvesting. In the interview below, we highlight Louie’s journey into graphic harvesting and the impacts graphics, images, and cartoons has had on his learning and education, as well as his peers and his students.
How did you come into graphic harvesting?
Since I was a child I was fond of drawing and art. I was entertained by children’s books and studying the graphics in the books instead of reading the literature. I would analyze the art work. For example, in one children’s book there were goat heads on a dog’s head. Everything was out of proportion and the visual was off. I paid attention to this and decided to draw the dog with my own interpretation. I would draw on the pages of children’s books and often get scolded so I later moved to scrap paper.
In middle school I would take notes and draw. This helped me to listen and to better understand the material. The teacher confiscated my notes and said to stop drawing. My grades dropped. I had an A at first, but passed with a C. Later on in life, I was engaged in technical study. I would illustrate a lot of things and use my creativity. This teacher asked for a copy of notes to share with the other students so they could better understand the material via illustrations.
I didn’t realize anything I was doing was considered graphic harvesting until one day I was in a meeting with Kari from DACU. Her eyes widened when she saw me taking my notes. I thought she wanted me to stop. However, Kari had recently participated in the HEP Graphic Harvesting training by the Visual Sisterhood and was so excited and said please continue!
How have you been using graphic harvesting in your role with DACU?
At DACU, we have virtual Coffee Hour and United Fridays. I take notes for myself at these and draw something equivalent to what is being spoken to – little things. I have also graphically recorded meetings when asked for the DACU team meeting and for Beloved Community. I also have led a few Cartooning workshops. You can watch a time lapse video of a graphic I recorded for DACU here.
What do you view as the benefit of utilizing graphics and visuals?
We use graphics all the time, even in our texts. We use emoji’s to reflect feelings. There are not the same emotions with just the text. I recommend when people take notes, draw a small image, and reflect back on it. Graphics are an important part of communications. Back in the day people wrote and captured their emotions on rocks and walls. The medical field has also been using faces along with the numbers to determine pain. There is wide acceptance of icons and graphics.
What is a graphic project that has inspired you?
When I was younger I worked as an AmeriCorps at a Court Youth Center. This is where I learned the connection between art and human emotion. I worked with the youth that were not happy in school due to systems that were not set up to support them. I asked them to give me items to draw. They would suggest things like marijuana, low riders, etc. For me, it is all imagery. I drew it and I got feedback on the art. They became engaged in the process and respected it. The students started their own sketchbooks. I ran into one of my students 10 years later. He said the class changed his life and thanked me. I said the change was in him all along. Art is powerful.
What is message you would like to leave with HEP partners?
Never underestimate your potential. You have immense potential and are wonderful. While the media may be telling you otherwise and the systems may not support you, know your potential is there. I am amazed at people’s potential.
Where can HEP partners learn more about your work?
You can learn more about Doña Ana Communities United here. You can learn more about Louie’s graphics, cartoons, and media here.
Interview conducted with Louie Gamon, DACU AmeriCorps VISTA by Jessica Eva Espinoza-Jensen, HEP Images provided by - Louie Gamon
COVID-19 Relief for
Immigrant Communities in New Mexico
Con Alma Health Foundation invites nonprofits to apply for grants to provide basic needs to immigrants who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to access federal and state resources. Con Alma will award grants to help nonprofits provide such basic needs as crisis intervention, food distribution, housing assistance, case management, civil rights and advocacy, and health care supplies and assistance.
“Immigrants are a crucial part of our state’s economy and culture. They work jobs deemed essential during this pandemic, yet cannot access federal and state relief,” said Dolores E. Roybal, Con Alma’s executive director. “We will award grants to organizations that will address this population’s short-term needs as well as strategies toward an equitable recovery.”
Con Alma will accept grant applications from 9 a.m. July 21 through 5 p.m. August 14. To apply, visit http://conalma.org/. Grants will range from $7,500 to $15,000.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded a $500,000 grant to Con Alma Health Foundation to establish and manage the COVID-19 Relief for Immigrant Communities in New Mexico Fund, which will provide direct assistance to New Mexicans who are immigrants and create awareness about the structural barriers to their well-being. Con Alma will prioritize grants to immigrant-led organizations and requests that include collaboration and coordination with others on COVID-19 efforts.
Con Alma will establish an advisory committee with diverse representation to help guide the project and partner with HEP that engages a statewide network to advance health equity in New Mexico.
“In addition to our direct assistance, we will use this grant to help increase organizations’ ability to mobilize and advocate for the immigrant community, especially children and families in New Mexico,” Roybal said.
Partner Capacity Building Opportunities and Events
Santa Fe Community Foundation - The HEP’s institutional home, the Santa Fe Community Foundation (SFCF), is committed to supporting nonprofits in achieving their missions with excellence. The SFCF’s Philanthropy HUB has been designed as a learning and gathering place for the philanthropic sector. The HUB's programs strive to: 1) deepen philanthropic practice; 2) build nonprofit capacity; 3) provide support for professional advisers; and 4) provide platforms for learning about social issues in community. Upcoming trainings and presentations include:
If you are a HEP network member and you have an upcoming training, workshop, or other capacity building opportunity open to community members and organizations, please send information about it to David Gaussoin and the HEP team can include it an upcoming newsletter.
Program Director of Education and Opportunity Santa Fe
Santa Fe Community Foundation
Posted July 8, 2020
The Program Director of Education and Opportunity Santa Fe serves as a Subject Matter Expert to the Foundation’s Educational Success and Career Pathways Area of Interest (AOI) and oversees all aspects of Opportunity Santa Fe: Birth to Career. Opportunity Santa Fe (OSF) is a collective impact effort working to achieve birth to career success, wellbeing, and equity for all Santa Fe children, families, and communities. Opportunity Santa Fe takes a stand for equity in the community and says it proudly! OSF believes in centering youth and people of color in solutions and is committed to creating multilingual and multicultural spaces where intentional collaboration, learning and joy are fostered.
To apply: Submit email application including a 1) cover letter describing motivations and specific qualifications for the position, 2) resume, and 3) three references (including at least one former or current employer and one community partner or colleague).
Please email applications to firstname.lastname@example.org with SUBJECT: Program Director of Education and Opportunity Santa Fe.
Deadline to apply: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.