Doña Ana Communities United
Our vision is a vibrant Doña Ana County in which all residents share their gifts and attain their own visions of health.
Doña Ana Communities United is an affirming nonpartisan community-based organization. DACU is rooted in the gifts and needs of those whose voices often go unheard. We carry out creative community-driven projects to eliminate structural barriers that often prevent residents from reaching their full potential. In partnership with decision makers, DACU aims to forge equitable public policies and participation processes.
Doña Ana Communities United Updates:
- Read the most current DACU newsletter here.
- Kari continues to broadcast her live show “Just Community” every Thursday morning from 8 to 9 AM on KTAL-LP 101.5 FM. The show aims to highlight voices not often heard in our community. Archived interviews are available on Google Drive
- Check out Robert Yee’s video of the Doña Ana Communities United timebank
- Our story map for our Social Equity Mapping (SEM) project is now available online! This map is a way for us to virtually share about our work at the Campus of Hope.
- Check out Robert Yee’s video of the intersection mural created by Doña Ana Communities United here in Las Cruces! (video below)
- The Viva Doña Ana Comprehensive Plan: The Doña Ana Communities United team was recently awarded funded to conduct a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) The HIA will focus on the Viva Doña Ana Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is developed and includes goals, objectives and policies designed to improve the quality of life for residents of Doña Ana County. The overriding themes of Viva Doña Ana projects are targeted to address people, places and prosperity. This HIA will focus on places and specific topics that include, but are not limited to, land use, open space and valued place, and agriculture.
- Parks and Multi-Use Trails in the Doña Ana County Comprehensive Plan: A Health Impact Assessment, May 2015 (Completed HIA Report)
- Parks and Multi-Use Trails in the Doña Ana County Comprehensive Plan: A Health Impact Assessment, May 2015 (Powerpoint)
- KRWG-FM – On this edition of PUENTES, bridges to the community, Emily Guerra meets with Doña Ana PLACE MATTERS Coordinator, Kari Bachman, to talk to us about the concerns of Chaparral, a Southern New Mexico community.
- KRWG-FM-Local Group Helps Bring Different Communities Together Through Civic Action
- Ignite for FUN!: DAC PLACE MATTERS, Court Youth Center, and Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice received an IGNITE grant from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to work with disconnected youth in 3 communities across the county around health policy, civic engagement and leadership, and the arts.
- Health Council: Doña Ana County is currently the only County in New Mexico that does not have an active Health Council. DAC in conjunction with the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County and the NM Department of Health, has held the first two meetings of the Doña Ana County Health Council/Healthy and Active Communities Committee.
- Land-use Toolkit: As part of the Con Alma mini-grant project, DAC recently participated in the first of two in-person workshops to help advise the construction of a Land-use Toolkit for community members in Doña Ana County and Bernalillo County. Several professors from UNM School of Architecture and Planning, NM DOH employees, and community members were among some of the experts providing input in this toolkit planning process.
- Lower Rio Grande Regional Water Plan: At the last LRGRWP meeting, it was decided to create a smaller planning team who would then create an agenda for the next meeting. It will be at the next meeting where the group will select steering committee members to revise the regional water plan. The group also has agreed to have some advisory groups that will provide input to the decision making body.
- New Mexico Community Data Collaborative: It is time for the next step with our NMCDC partners! If there are any volunteers interested in continuing their GIS mapping skills, and who have attended the first round of trainings
Doña Ana Communities United Community Partners:
- City of Las Cruces: Economic Development & Revitalization Department, Parks and Recreation Department
- Colonias Development Council
- Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico
- Court Youth Center
- Con Alma Health Foundation
- Doña Ana County: Community Development Department
- Healthy Kids Healthy Anthony (City of Anthony, NM)
- Ngage NM
- La Semilla Food Center
- New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division
- New Mexico Health Equity Partnership
- New Mexico State University: Department of Anthropology, Department of Educational Management and Development, and Borderland Center for Educational Studies (BoCES)
- Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice
- Office of U.S. Senator Tom Udall
- Paso del Norte Health Foundation
- Santa Fe Community Foundation
- Shakti Rising
- Southern New Mexico Promotora Committee
- The Great Conversation
- UP! Unified Prevention Coalition for a drug free Doña Ana County
Community Based Collaborations:
- Land Use Tool Kit: A collaborative project of the Bernalillo County and Doña Ana County teams, supported by a Con Alma Health Foundation Mini-Grant, the goal of this collaboration is to create a “Land Use Tool Kit,” designed for community members and public health advocates in Bernalillo and Doña Ana Counties to participate in the decision-making process around the built environment.
- The Great Conversation: Supported by a Con Alma Health Foundation Mini-Grant, the Doña Ana County team, The Great Conversation, and the Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice are working collaboratively to host 15 conversations throughout Doña Ana County around the topic of health. These conversations are open to all community members and are a way to continually engage community members in our respective work.
- Ignite for FUN!: Supported by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the Ignite for FUN! project is a collaboration between the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, Court Youth Center, Doña Ana County team, and the Ocotillo Institute for Social Justice. This project aims to engage disconnected youth in communities around the county integrating a health policy, civic engagement and arts curriculum.
- Doña Ana County Health Council: In collaboration with the Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County and the New Mexico Department of Health, the Doña Ana County team is an active partner in the development of a community led Health Council.
photo from a site visit to Silver City, NM
Doña Ana County Team:
Doña Ana County (DAC) is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico. We believe it is important to think about where people live, work, and play, and how these places influence and impact communities’ health. DAC highly prioritizes intersectoral collaboration to strengthen our work. Our partners include health based organizations, County and City officials, NMSU researchers, non-profits, and community members. We all have the same goal, to create a healthier community!
Doña Ana Communities United Team Members:
|Jorge Castillo||Dawn Sanchez|
|Mary Alice Scott||Michelle Valverde|
|Andrew Bencomo||Marisol Diaz|
|Lorenza Dorado||Randy Harris|
|Annaliza Gourneau||Facundo Ruiz|
|María Gallegos||Melanie Goodman|
|Janet Flores||Kirsty Nichols|
|Mary Ballard||Carli Romero|
|Kari Bachman||Jenna Kendall|
Doña Ana Communities United Coordinator
Kari Bachman is the team coordinator for Doña Ana Communities United. Her previous job experience includes coordinating the Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition Program at NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, working as a farm educator, and serving in the Peace Corps. Kari’s passion for social justice is marked by her commitment to practice participatory facilitation methods and her respect for multiple perspectives. She has advocated for health-promoting policies including a healthy food zone ordinance, competitive foods rules, and Child Nutrition reauthorization. Kari obtained her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in political science and her master’s degree from NMSU in Agricultural and Extension Education. She is currently pursuing a PhD in rhetoric and professional communication at NMSU. In her free time, Kari enjoys collecting oral histories, exploring foodways, experiencing other cultures, and participating in almost any kind of physical activity.