Changing Times: An Exploration of the Pandemic’s Impact on Our Communities and the Way Forward

The COVID pandemic has profoundly impacted our communities as well as the way that Tewa Women United and our partner organizations are doing our work. To get a deeper understanding of the implications of this change, over the past year TWU collaborated with Ampersand LLC (an education, evaluation, and communication firm) on “Changing Times,” a community strengths and needs assessment project.

The “Changing Times” project is an effort to understand, in broad strokes, how the pandemic has affected the communities Tewa Women United serves. What needs and new opportunities have arisen? What community strengths exist? What do we know now, at this moment in time? How might this information help guide the organization, moving forward?

During the data collecting process in the fall of 2021, 19 people generously shared their thoughts during in-depth interviews and 82 community members, aged 13 to 82, responded to a lengthy survey. The voices of these community members, as well as those of leaders of seven trusted partner organizations, are featured in the summary report. An asset mapping process was also begun as part of this project.

We are grateful for the wisdom and the profound stories shared with us. Each story is valid, valuable and cherished. Some of the primary themes that came through in the stories include:

This effort offers both a snapshot in time—two years into the COVID-19 pandemic— and a landscape view of the persistent challenges and sustaining strengths that characterize the communities Tewa Women United serves. We hope these findings will be helpful in raising questions and guiding strategies as TWU and our partner organizations move forward.

During the coming months we’ll be featuring various aspects and findings from this report. Today we want to give you the overall view and invite your participation with it. The full report is rich with data, stories, and insights. We encourage you to take time to read it, and we invite your feedback and reflections on the findings of this process.

TWU staff and community partners at a gathering to celebrate the release of the Changing Times report