February 4, 2022
Today, the City of Albuquerque announced the new name of the office dedicated to African American affairs, the Office of Black Community Engagement. The name change was recommended by community members and kicks off Black History Month celebrations in the city. There will be community celebrations throughout the month, including educational webinars, tours of “Facing the Rising Sun: The Journey of African American Homesteaders in New Mexico, Vision, Belief, and Sovereign Ownership” at the Albuquerque Museum , and a 90-day nonviolence pledge inspired by civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King.
“Black History Month is a treasured time when we celebrate the heritage, legacy and contributions of the black community in our country and right here in the city of Albuquerque,” said Nichole Rogers, Liaison Officer for the City of Albuquerque Black Community Engagement Office. “By collectively focusing our attention on the efforts of leaders who have gone before us, we can learn to solve difficult problems together, including the elimination of the tricultural myth.”
Last year, a public survey was distributed to community members asking for their input on an updated name for the Office of African American Affairs to distinguish the city office from the state office. bearing the same name. The name Office of Black Community Engagement better represents the mission.
“When we opened the office in 2020, we recognized the need for the city to do more to strengthen our connection to Albuquerque’s black community, to elevate and listen to diverse voices in government, and to increase access to jobs. and resources of the city, said Mayor Keller. “This month, as we continue to honor Black history in Albuquerque and America, the Office is taking on a new name chosen by the community and will help facilitate conversations for city employees and members of the community on building a more equitable and inclusive city in the work of each department. ”
This year, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the city is calling on members of the community to make a 90-day nonviolence pledge inspired by the “Six Steps to Nonviolent Social Change.” violent” by Dr. King. Community members, including organizations and businesses, are encouraged to Register and join one of the many workshops run by city staff that teach how to engage in nonviolent social change.
In addition to the nonviolence pledge, the City of Albuquerque Office of Equity and Inclusion will partner with the Somos Unidos Foundation and the New Mexico Black Diamonds to offer a free football clinic for youth led by New Mexico United players. The New Mexico Black Diamonds are an all-inclusive fan group of New Mexico United that aims to promote black culture, break down barriers, and diversify the stands at football games. The Equity and Inclusion Office will also be offering workshops to City employees and the public as part of its culture change training initiative. The city launched the Culture Change Initiative in 2020 as a way for city employees to have opportunities to engage in meaningful conversations to make Albuquerque more inclusive and equitable. The goal is for every City employee to attend at least one workshop.
The Albuquerque Museum, in partnership with the African American Museum and Cultural Center and the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture, will present a special exhibit throughout February in honor of the Month of black history. The high-tech exhibit tells the story and pays homage to the legacy of the first African-American families in New Mexico. Albuquerque Museum tickets can be found here.
For a full list of events happening throughout February in honor of Black History Month, visit cabq.gov/oei.