Today marks the last day of our fundraiser. And with just hours to go, we’re happy to report that we have already received $2,610. That’s $110 beyond our $2,500 goal! We’re humbled by the support and excited because it means we can continue the work of reporting on the issues we all find important: covering LANL, acequia politics and forest planning issues. It means we can continue to examine the Martinez administration’s ongoing abrogation of environmental regulation, and the frightening return of uranium mining to New Mexico, among other issues.
It also means we can begin a new phase for La Jicarita. If you recall, in the Manifesto we published to kick off our new electronic life in February of last year, we wrote:
Ours is a collective struggle in solidarity with communities and activist organizations… The new La Jicarita strives to become the place where radical political action can be considered and debated, where new tactics in the struggle for environmental justice can be hatched, and where disparate groups and interests can find common ground in a broad-based movement to bring a better New Mexico to life.
Our successful fundraiser gives us the financial wherewithal to do just that. We are happy to announce that on April 19th of this year, La Jicarita will join with the departments of American Studies and Native American Studies, the Community and Regional Planning program, and the Institute for American Indian Research at the University of New Mexico, along with a number of UNM student groups including the Borderlands Justice Collective and the Kiva Club to host a one-day symposium at the University of New Mexico campus on environmental and social justice. The symposium, free and open to the public, will first and foremost honor the life and work of scholar and activist John Redhouse.
We can think of no person more deserving of recognition than John Redhouse. John was born and raised in Farmington, New Mexico and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, where he was a student leader and active member of the Kiva Club. He is a longtime Indian rights activist, who co-founded Indians Against Exploitation in Gallup, N.M. from 1972-73 and the Coalition for Navajo Liberation in Farmington, N.M. in 1974. He served as the Associate Director of the National Indian Youth Council in Albuquerque, N.M. from 1974 to 1978 and the New Mexico State Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission in 1978-79. He has been also a prolific writer and scholar and his remarkable personal archives are now held at the UNM Center for Southwest Research.
In addition to honoring John, the symposium will highlight the remarkable work among a variety of environmental and social justice activists and scholars, such as Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Nicole Horseherder and Kay Matthews.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is a prolific scholar and inspiring activist. She is the author of many books, including the vitally important Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico. She comes from a family of radical organizers and activists. Her grandfather organized with the Wobblies and the Socialist Party. She herself worked with a number of student and activist groups, such as SDS and, in 1968, founded Cell 16, a radical feminist group.
Nicole Horseherder was born and raised on the Black Mesa on the Navajo Nation. After receiving an MA in linguistics from the University of British Columbia, she returned to Black Mesa where today she is a leading figure in the fight against corporate mining control and contamination. She is a co-founder of To’ Nizhoni Ani, a coalition of remarkable groups and committed activists working toward environmental and social justice issues.
Kay Matthews, as many of you already know, is the current Editor-in-Chief of La Jicarita, a co-founder of the original La Jicarita that published from 1996-2011. Originally from Colorado, Kay has spent most of her adult life in New Mexico working as a journalist, activist, community organizer and small farmer.
Put the date on your calendar and stay tuned for more detailed announcements on the symposium in the weeks to come. For now anticipate an exciting day that will include paper and panel sessions by current students and faculty of the University of New Mexico, a “keynote” interview with John Redhouse, and afternoon sessions by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Nicole Horseherder and Kay Matthews where they will discuss their own work. The day will end with break-out sessions in which our panelists will conduct hands-on workshops on community organizing.