In Gratitude: Jessica Lujan
Tewa Women United honors our beloved Jessica Lujan, as she completes 12 years of dedication and heart service with the organization. We are sad to see her leave and wish her well as she follows her heart’s new calling. Jessica’s last day with TWU is February 28, 2022.
Jessica joined TWU in 2010 as a Yiya Vi Kangingdi (YVK) Community Doula. Two years later she became the Co-Coordinator of the YVK Doula Project and in 2015, she stepped into the role of the Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice Program Manager. In Jessica’s own words, “Throughout my time I have focused my work on ensuring families in New Mexico have access to trauma-informed, survivor-centered full spectrum doula support.”
During Jessica’s time as IWH/RJ Program Manager, the program provided over 190 families with doula support, trained 50 community-based doulas and 30 Indigenous Breastfeeding Councilors, and countless families received ongoing support through circles, classes, and events. Jessica’s vision led to the creation and implementation of the YVK Full Spectrum Doula curriculum and training offered through TWU.
In all the projects she has helped develop, Jessica has been conscious of centering community participation and raising the voices of community members as the experts. “Jessica has always led with her heart and passion to create programming to support birthing families in Northern New Mexico. She is a collaborator and co-creator through and through,” said Corrine Sanchez, Executive Director of TWU.
Jessica’s other accomplishments include contributions to several reports and events, including “Expanding Access to Doula Care” (2020). Jessica coordinated the first Birth Summit held in Northern New Mexico in 2012, an event which Corrine noted was pivotal to the seeding of birth justice in our state. In 2021 Jessica helped to organize the New Mexico Birth & Reproductive Justice Summit (held virtually due to COVID,), another important gathering of doulas, midwives, funders, state and tribal leaders, and ally organizations to build on the work we are each doing, and to learn how we can do it together in a holistic way.
Her consistent work and relationships with ally organizations has helped to pass legislation to keep abortion safe and legal in New Mexico, and she has advocated for policies that center the interconnection of environmental and reproductive justice. Jessica is one of the founding members of the New Mexico Doula Association and currently sits on their Board as the Co-Chair of Birth Equity. She also helped found the Rio Arriba Breastfeeding Task Force Chapter and coordinated the Care Coalition for Northern Families from 2015 to 2020.
Nathana Bird, TWU’s associate director, says, “Jessica has truly embodied the values of TWU and the IWH program over the years and I thank her for that. We wish her well on her next journey in life and may she be blessed with love as she has given so much to our many clients and participants in the IWH Program.”
What comes next? Jessica looks forward to taking part in Los Sembradores Farmer Training Program with the New Mexico Acequia Association, a 10-month apprenticeship on traditional irrigation techniques and ancestral farming methods, as well as modern farming techniques and regenerative agriculture. She is also excited to offer wellness workshops to social and reproductive justice organizations through her business, Colibri Corazon. Her focus will be on herbal remedios for healing, food as medicine, mindfulness techniques, and community care. To learn more about her new offerings, you can reach Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org and find Colibri Corazon on Instagram and Facebook. We love you, Jessica!