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Social Justice Issues

New Mexico is a melting pot of a variety of cultures and peoples that are considered minorities in other parts of America. Many minority groups within the Greater McKinley county area and beyond suffer due to the lack of access to healthcare, employment, educational opportunities, and unlawful policies.

 

Many rural indigenous families have little to no access to healthcare because of driving distance/access to a vehicle, knowledge in living healthy, and/or financial instability. Leading to numerous health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health concerns. Healthcare across the Navajo Nation has to lead to the highest number of COVID-related illnesses and deaths in the country.

As of 2018, the Navajo Nation has an unemployment rate of 42%. With recent studies, this is attributed to access to a driveable vehicle, wage theft, and other necessities for the workforce.

Education in New Mexico ranks in the bottom 10 percentile in counties and 50th in the country. This is due to the lack of available funding from the government.

Image by Nadine Shaabana

What WeDo

  • We conduct health impact assessments

  • We encourage the community to take collective action

  • We mentor community leaders

  • We create safe space for community discussions

  • We provide environmental literacy training

Health Equity

McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity (MCHE)

McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity (MCHE) has partnered with Somos Gallup and Somos Un Pueblo Unidos to conduct a health impact assessment on wage theft and build the capacity of low wage workers in McKinley County. Wage theft impacts families when workers are not paid overtime, misclassified, not paid the minimum wage, or not paid. Often, low wage workers may encounter wage theft, yet do not report the situation. We are conducting a health impact assessment to protect and expand protections of low wage workers. This also provides an opportunity to bring communities together across cultural differences in order to build the power of the people.

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National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE)

NMSJEI - A National Partner

In order to forge a path toward health equity and progress, we must undo the health consequences of racism, particularly its less visible – but more insidious – structural manifestations, such as the heavy concentration of health risks in communities of color.

McKinley County Education News:

Wage Theft

McKinley Worker Justice Coalition 

Wage theft – Somos Gallup is part of McKinley Mutual aid. NMSJEI is involved with Somos Gallup. Overtime, bill. Outside of the WKKF scope of work, Strong Families – Forward Together and NMSJEI are sharing bills. They also have $500-$800 for messaging on COVID-related information in Spanish, Navajo, and English. This will focus on the worker’s justice minimum wage. NMSJEI serves McKinley County, NM, where the American Indian population is 77% and where 38% of families live in poverty, a situation deeply rooted in the Doctrine of Discovery, history of colonization, and deep structural inequities.

 

We participate as a core member of NMHEP and engage our community to take collective action through “issue education” and by providing information and instruction regarding the process and procedure for working successfully within various public and policy change arenas. We then organize and mobilize our cadre of informed and equipped community members to improve their lives. Guided by the community leaders we mentor.

 

Through the collaborations we establish, we enact change by building capacity and empowering individuals, communities, and organizations to lead and impact equitable policy change. Rooted in community leadership and collaboration, NMSJEI helps create safe spaces whereby McKinley county residents can collectively reclaim and grow their voices. We have provided environmental literacy training on the Water Equity Climate Resilience; Water Policy framework. One thousand and one (1,100) community members participated in public health and uranium forums from January to March 2020.

 

Younger generations have been building a dynamic family and community movement through art with youth. Communities are developing their ability to reflect and find solutions for pressing issues impacting their access to the spectrum of health equity. Uranium workers and have an
interest in workers’ rights forums.  Inter-sectional relationship building helps build trust and peer learning through informal conversations.

  • Provided financial literacy training to workers.

  • Participation rates increased by 20% by nurturing relationship building through 4 family-centered events.

  • 4 Focus groups held on how to recruit more volunteers from communities we work within Gallup/McKinley

  • 24 Outreach activities with Strong Families, Somos Gallup, McKinley Health Council for base building. (McKinley Mutual Aid)

  • 33 community members participated in workers’ rights forums. Workers Right Forum 20 people attended at the library in Gallup NM and 13 on the Zoom call.

  • Increased sense of community responsibility as we build the power base. There are more local organizations and individuals networking more due to the increased need for masks, food water, and hygiene supplies. We have different working groups that we see are coalescing through McKinley Mutual Aid and NMHEP.

  • Families have increased financial independence life skills.

  • Workers and their families have gained a sense of independence and motivation. Workers have gained back stolen wages in the amount of over $300,000 to the complainants. Those wins are huge and have given more hope to other workers to file complaints. 

  • Somos Gallup has also been hosting Minimum Wage forums virtually and we also MMA delivers food, water, cleaning, and hygiene supplies to the mixed-status folks and ensured they had enough boxes for the 30 families.

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Health Impact Assessment

We ...

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Quick Stats

Computer and Internet Use

63.3% Households with a computer, percent, 2015-2019

 

43.8% Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2015-2019

Education

77.2% High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

 

11.4% Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

Information provided by U.S. Census Bureau

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Partners of Social Justice Issues

  • Alcohol Density Work Group

  • Con Alma

  • Gallup-McKinley-Navajo-Zuni Behavioral Health Collaborative

  • KGLP Community Health Radio

  • McKinley Community Health Alliance

  • NM Department of Health

  • NM Poor Peoples Campaign

  • NM Public Health Institute

  • Strong families (Medicare & Medicaid)

  • Voices for Children

  • Wage Theft & McKinley Worker Justice Coalition