McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity
Using a health equity lens, the McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity team seeks to change systems that perpetuate environmental health disparities related to the impacts of institutional racism and multi-generational trauma, by empowering participating communities within the county to impact equitable policy change.
In 1979 at the United Nuclear Corporations’ uranium processing mill in Northwest New Mexico, a dam broke releasing more than 1,100 tons of uranium miming wastes-tailings along with 100 million gallons of radioactive water into the Pipeline Arroyo and went downstream along the Rio Puerco. The “Church Rock Tailings Spill” is the second largest accident in the United States that released radioactive materials.
There has been minimal attention to the health risks associated with mining and environmental contamination in the Northwest Region. There are proposed uranium mining sites in McKinley County and we want to ensure that people are aware of the health risks associated to either working in the mines or secondary exposure from family members bringing home contaminated clothes, air pollutants, etc. Also, there has been inadequate clean up of currently contaminated areas.
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
Our HIA looks at a proposed moratorium that brings together a diverse group of people committed to conducting this assessment in order to benefit the local community members. It will address health broadly and be culturally sensitive instead of focusing solely on physical or disease related issues. It is an opportunity to offer recommendations to decision makers to enhance the positive health impacts of policy-making and economic development projects. We will be looking at the following health impacts:
- Environmental exposures/contamination
- Displacement and relocation
- Cultural relevance of the land to holistic health
- Community Efficacy
Artist- Akilah Martinez
McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity Links & Updates:
- Article from the Gallup Independent, “Celebrating King’s legacy”, 01/16/18
- Join your neighbors for an update on efforts to form a citizen Blue Ribbon Task Force to address uranium pollution. Please join us next Thursday night to learn more about where this process is and how you can get involved. Featured speakers will include Doug Meiklejohn with NM Environmental Law Center (NMELC), Anna Rondon with NM Social Justice and Equity Institute (NMSJEI), Rita and Mitchell Capitan with Eastern Navajo Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) and community advocate Janene Yazzie.
When: Thursday, September 21 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Gallup Community Service Center, 410 Bataan Veterans St., Gallup, NM 87301
- Pat Sheely’s letter in the Gallup Independent – I support task force and moratorium on uranium mining
- Locals impacted by uranium mining tell their stories, By Christina Tsosie, July 26, 2017
- Backpedal or misunderstanding: Group says McKinley County broke promise to spearhead uranium task force, By Christina Tsosie, Jul 15, 2017
- 38th Annual Uranium Tailings Spill Commemoration letter
- Press Release – INTERMOUNTAIN WEST URANIUM SUMMIT
- Truth Telling Project – Shared Experiences, Shared Vision
- Recommendations at the Truth Telling Project Event – June 21, 2017 at the NM Cancer Center-
- Indigenous people in this country face many issues including: uranium mines/leaks, worker justice, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, school systems (unjust, racist, and discriminatory treatment), gun violence, police brutality, environmental justice, and many more.
- Need free, safe and sacred spaces for people to tell and share their stories. Examples of public spaces in Gallup:
-UNM Northside campus, Library, Rehoboth Solarium, Gallup Community Center
- Finding one common issue is challenging because there are so many
– One suggested common ground for these issues is youth
– Youth intersect with many different issues
- Need to find what interests the youth so they become involved and help lead to make changes
– Use what directly and personally affects youth
– Find key youth who are leaders that are genuinely interested in helping to address these issues and stand up/rise up
– Work with organizations that work with youth and encourage other organizations to work with youth
- Make the narrative of including, utilizing and organizing with the youth known
– Record so it can be shared and be shared around the world
Dr. David Ragland, Professor, Melinda Salazar PHd., Red Water Pond Road Community Members, Gallup Somos Unidas Pueblos Members, McKinley Workers Justice Coalition Members, McKinley Community Health Alliance Members, McKinley Collaborative for Health Equity Members, Gallup Behavioral Health Office, McKinley Juvenile Justice Office, KNIZ 90.1 Greater Gallup Community Radio, Available Media Inc. (video taped session), New Mexico Social Justice Equity Institute
- Somos un Pueblo Unido in Gallup, discussing worker rights and U.S. immigration policies 6/7/17 at KGLP
- DINÉ FOOD SOVEREIGNTY/DINÉ POLICY INSTITUTE, April 2014, A Report on the Navajo Nation Food System and the Case to Rebuild a Self-Sufficient Food System for the Diné People
- Community-Based Participatory Research for Health 3rd Edition, by Bonnie Duran
- A Year in Review 2014 – 2015
- KUNM Interview link – The Lingering Legacy of Mining
- An article in the Hawaii Independent about the Gallup Bordertown Justice March that MCPM co-sponsored. We are working with the Red Nation and community leaders to address the racist violence of natives in our area.
- Uranium Workers’ Day, article in the Gallup Independent
McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity
PO BOX 2931
Gallup, NM 87305
Executive Director of the New Mexico Social Justice and Equity Institute in McKinley County
McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity email
Anna Rondon- Executive Director
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
(505) 906 2671
In The News
McKinley Community Collaborative for Health Equity Partners:
- McKinley Community Health Alliance
- Red Water Pond Road Community Association
- McKinley County Public Health Office
- Navajo Birth Cohort Study
- Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining
- Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment; Conservation Voters of New Mexico Education Fund
Anna Rondon – Executive Director, NM Equity and Social Justice Institute
Anna Marie Rondon, Dine who is Kinya annii (Towering House) and born for Nakai Dine (Mexican Clan), Tabaha (Edge Water Clan) Maternal Grandfather and lives in Chichiltah, NM.
Ms. Rondon has 40 years of experience in community planning and community development, grant writing, social and environmental justice issues and ten years of volunteer work on Gulf War Veterans health concerns.
Her community planning/development is based on years of research and interviews with elders and the study of sustainable community development practices throughout the world. It’s critical that local traditional knowledge be preserved and woven into the community-based planning process. Blending the past with modern day technological tools is also a good beginning for planning for the future.
She studied Native American Humanities, Public Health, Business Management, Indian Law and Community Planning at Contra Costa College, UNM-Gallup and Navajo Technical University.
Ms. Rondon was born in 1957 to Gertrude Henderson Rondon of Chichiltah, N.M. and Frank Rondon, a Mexican/Hispanic of Richmond, Calif. She has one brother, Arthur J. Ledezma (deceased). Both of her parents worked for the Santa Fe Railroad and were strong union members for 39 years.
Her father was in the U.S. Army Infantry and served in World War II. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Metal for saving fellow soldiers on the front line in Italy. He is now deceased. Anna’s brother was a U.S. Marine and served in the Vietnam War. He also is a member and former Secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Ms. Rondon is the proud mother of 2 children and 5 grandchildren. She also cared for her mother for 12 years who passed on in 2010 at the aged of 90 years of age who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
When her family lived and worked in California, they always maintained strong ties to Chichiltah. During her childhood, her family would travel by train from California to Chichiltah to visit her grandmother, Marie Y. Henderson, and other relatives during the summer months.
Her memory of her first chapter meeting at Chichiltah in the summer of 1967 is vivid because she traveled to it in a horse drawn wagon with her mother, grandmother and granduncle.
Her grandfather Happy Henderson, was a well-known and respected Hatathlie (Navajo healer/singer), unfortunately, she never knew him because he was robbed and murdered in April 22, 1956 in Gallup, New Mexico.
Throughout her early teen years, she gained valuable experience in community development from her mother, when she helped her mother organize local water and electric power line projects, which took them to Crownpoint, N.M. and Window Rock, Ariz., many times.
While Ms. Rondon was in Richmond, Calif., she actively participated in numerous multi-cultural events of the Bay Area because her family had raised her to respect all people, which was strengthened through the many friendships that her family created with other people of color.