Looking Back at 2022

We would like to share some of this highlights of this past year, and are proud of the work of our dedicated staff. Your year-end gift helps to sustain this work and the staff who carry it out with courage, creativity, and love for our communities. Thank you for your support!


This year our Environmental Health & Justice Program welcomed two new staff: Talavi Denipah Cook as Program Manager and Kayleigh Warren as Program Coordinator.

Talavi (she/hers), originally from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné, holds a passion for forestry, firefighting, natural resources, and conservation. She is committed to helping her communities to ensure the land and the people are healthy and resilient. Kayleigh (she/her) is Tewa and Tiwa from the Pueblos of Santa Clara and Isleta. From her land-based upbringing as well as through community and professional mentorship, Kayleigh is an advocate for ancestral lands protection and the preservation of Pueblo land-based lifeways, especially farming and ethnobotanical traditions.

Even as Talavi and Kayleigh needed some time to get their feet on the ground (metaphorically and literally), they still put together an impressive array of workshops and events throughout the year including:

The EHJ team also collaborated with the Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice staff to offer a series of workshops on herbal medicine, and with the A’Gin youth to stock seeds for the Española Healing Foods Seed Library. The Sayain/Circle of Grandmothers are also very much of a guiding presence for our environmental justice work.

Along with all staff, the EHJ team pitched in to support relief efforts for those impacted by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fires in many ways. Throughout the pandemic and in the wake of this year’s fires, we have been distributing N95 masks and Corsi-Rosenthal box air filter kits to Native and land-based families across the state. Recognizing the impact of smoke on our vulnerable communities, we hosted a workshop for elders and youth to learn how to make DIY air filters at our Española office, and at Santa Clara, Ohkay Owingeh, and Taos Pueblos.

As always, our EHJ program is dedicated to advocacy and educating the public about environmental justice issues that impact the Tewa homelands and other parts of our bioregion. This year we joined in on action alerts to…

We are so grateful for Talavi and Kayleigh’s leadership and great hearts, and their unwavering commitment to protect the most vulnerable. Imagine what they’ll do in year two of working together!


Our Indigenous Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice Program welcomes families to engage in their health and wellbeing by revitalizing and reclaiming traditional practices and ways of knowing. Most of the services we offer are available to all Native and land-based families in the Tewa homelands/Española Valley area. We advocate for policies that respect body sovereignty and choice.

We welcomed three new staff this year to the IWH+RJ team: Carmella Quam as Program Director, Libby Branham as Yiya Vi Kagingdi Program Coordinator, and Heaven Lee Kim in the new position of Reproductive Justice Coordinator. Carmella, Libby and Heaven joined with long-time staff members Diana Halsey and Pilar Trujillo to form a powerful team in service to our communities

This year was particularly challenging with the Dobbs v Jackson Supreme Court decision in June, a ruling that has a disproportionate impact on poor women, especially Black, Indigenous, Latino, and other people of color. We issued this statement, making clear that we will continue to protect our inherent reproductive rights and fight against abortion restrictions which keep people from getting the care they want, need, and deserve.  

Our Yiya Vi Kagingdi (YVK) Doula Project served 24 families in Northern New Mexico during 2022, with more intakes coming before the year ends. Our doulas supported 19 births! These 24 families also received supplies such as diapers, baby carriers, and self-care items from our program.

In August, 11 amazing and fierce students completed our five-month YVK Full Spectrum Doula Training and are now ready to serve their communities. The graduation of this third cohort of YVK doulas was a beautiful event with our Sayaain (Circle of Grandmothers) blessing each student in front of their families and support people in a moving ceremony.

In September, we partnered with the National Partnership for Women & Families, HealthConnect One, and the National Health Law Program to release “Improving Our Maternity Care Now Through Doula Support,” a report highlighting how doula support can make a critical difference in improving outcomes for pregnant and birthing people and their babies.

In addition to our direct care doula services, the IWH+RJ team offered a number of educational opportunities for families in our communities throughout the year, including:

In the coming year, we’ll share more about Barrios Remedios, an exciting partnership with our friends at Barrios Unidos in Chimayo. We’re also taking time to step back and reflect on how our Full Spectrum Doula Training Program can be even more responsive to the needs of our communities, so we’re putting a pause on the training for the first part of 2023. And of course we’ll have more educational offerings and continue to be a strong voice for body sovereignty and choice at the policy level.


Our Women’s Leadership and Economic Freedom Program lifts up the intergenerational element of healing justice, and includes our Sayain/Circle of Grandmothers, the A’Gin Healthy Sexuality and Body Sovereignty Project, the A’Gin Youth Council, and the Engaging Young Men and Boys Project.

As sacred ancestral knowledge keepers, the Sayain are the nurturing breath that infuse and inspire the work of Tewa Women United. The grandmothers meet on a regular basis to explore how they can support community members and they are a grounding and loving presence at many of TWU’s public events. 

The A’Gin Healthy Sexuality and Body Sovereignty Project was developed by community leaders and educators in 2011 as an approach to address issues of body sovereignty and personal empowerment for all stages of life. This project has served over 500 youth throughout Northern New Mexico in tribal, public and community settings.

This year the WLEF Program offered a number of gender justice/community healing initiatives, including: