Listening Session: February 4, 2023
On February 4th, 2023, The New Mexico Office of African American Affairs (OAAA) will host a listening session at the African American Performing Arts Center, located in Albuquerque, NM. OAAA has a rich history from 1999 to the present. The creation of this state agency was only made possible by the extraordinary efforts of Alice Hoppes, community stakeholders and leaders from New Mexico’s Black/African American communities. This listening session will introduce the current staff, their roles and to re-engage with Black/African American communities and stakeholders. This listening session will also be the first step to reconnecting OAAA’s programs and projects to activities and resources relevant to New Mexico’s Black/African American communities. As advocates for the Black/African American communities, will use our expertise and intuition to stimulate dialogue to encourage and support public participation in OAAA’s program planning.
The Office of African American Affairs was created as a division under the Human Services Department (HSD) with the passage of House Bill 909 in the 44th Legislature of 1999. Under Bill 909, the Office of African American Affairs, in cooperation with the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, shall address issues relating to African Americans throughout New Mexico. The statue is associated with the governmental component of OAAA, and is demonstrated through its mission, vision, goal, and focus areas, also referred to as the pillars. These principal statements guide how OAAA operate, but it’s community input that drives our implementation.
Mission: To Study, Identify, and provide change by means of support, advocacy, and resources relevant to the African American Communities.
Vision: To be a “GO To” authority in New Mexico on matters relating to methods that improve the quality of life for African Americans.
Goals: To Improve the lives of African American citizens in the State of New Mexico.
. Advocacy and Policy
. Community Development
. Economic Development
. Educational Achievement
. Health Equity
We are a new team here at OAAA. For the past 4 months OAAA has been in a transition, learning our rich history and the pioneers that came before us. We understand the need to rebuild back the trust and commitment of and to our community members and stakeholders. OAAA is shifting to a more collaborative practice and outreach. This listening session will consist of open and honest conversations with community stakeholders listening to their needs and concerns for advocacy. We will also share our “Getting to Know OAAA” online campaign. The campaign will be an opportunity for community members and stakeholders to meet staff, learn about their roles, and allow community members and stakeholders to educate us about their needs and concerns. As advocates for change, we cannot do our best work without the input from New Mexico Black/African American communities.
This listening session is the first step for OAAA to reestablish a community foundation of trust and apply a collaborative practice to encourage and support public participation. We are aware that there are many challenges facing our New Mexico Black/African American communities. We hope to learn more about community concerns and challenges and discuss options for resources and support opportunities.
The main topics to be discussed during this listening session will include Community Development, Health Equity and Literacy, and Educational Advancement. The information collected during this listening session can later be incorporated into community- based projects and programs, connecting themes, ideals, and concerns that New Mexico Black/African American communities can mobilize and organize around.