Make a Difference
We invite you to join us on this ‘Journey of Generosity,’ Wo’wasti: Na’ingbi aayaagi’i / Live for Our Children’s Future.Give Today
Growing, Nourishing, Transforming, and Healing, to reach the place of thriving, has been at the core of all the heart work of TWU since our founding 30 years ago.
As we pray and look to the next 30-years, we are inspired by where we have seen Native/Indigenous/Pueblo women come. And, we know and have heard that there is still much that needs to be done.
We continue to hold courageous conversations with our women and girls, families, and communities. We are doing some major pivots from direct service to prevention, from being the learners to now being teachers/facilitators. We are leaning more fully into conversations about Healing and Justice.
We are all about co-creation, as this is about visioning, praying and calling forward new ways to be in relationship with one another as the world at this moment seems to be taking a backwards spin. As womb-full and heart full peoples we must call forward vulnerability and authenticity and a deeper healing then we have known. We must continue to come from Love and a space of building connection and belonging together.
It is from this place that we started Wo’wasti: Na’ingbi aayaagi’i / Live for Our Children’s Future in 2019.
Through this three-year Journey of Generosity, our goal is to raise $1.5 million which will make the following possible:
UPDATE: As of March 2020, we have achieved this funding goal!
In 2006, we moved into our current building in Española, New Mexico. In the years since then, we have worked diligently to cultivate a feeling of ‘home’ here. This is more than an office space to us — we want it to be a place where everyone is welcomed and feels at home.
We put a down payment on this building and started a process of ownership. When we have raised $280,000 through this Journey of Generosity, our dream of full ownership will be a reality.
As Native women, to be able to own this space supports our sustainability and helps to build wealth for future generations. From an Indigenous perspective, we understand “wealth” to mean more than a financial profit line. It’s about providing for our community and families in all ways, and especially taking care of our Earth Mother and her waters for future generations. Wealth extends far beyond money, and yet in the world we live in, it’s a reality that we need to reckon with. Through ownership, this building will provide continuity for our work into the coming generations.
We intentionally chose to locate TWU in Española because this is our home. Traditionally this Valley has been a meeting place for tribal communities. It is important for the Española/Rio Arriba County community to know we are here to stay and we are committed for the long run. To use the words of TWU friend Carnell Chosa (co-director of the Leadership Institute at Santa Fe Indian School), this is about “attaching our heart to our home place.”
Our firm commitment to be in this place also supports the creation of a new narrative for Española and Rio Arriba County – a region that is rich in culture, spirituality, and natural beauty, but that, along with our tribal communities, has also suffered from the devastating consequences of colonization.
In recognition that the path back to economic stability during and after this pandemic will be a long one, we need to build our Emergency Reserve Fund so that TWU can continue to serve our communities in holistic and transformative ways. We need to be able to rely on our own economic base and sources of support rather than on federal and other external funding which often comes with narrow requirements in how tasks must be achieved. Growing our Emergency Reserve Fund will allow us to respond to these times from a position of strength and creative vision, based in sovereignty and self-determination.
At our current rate of approximately $150,000/month of total expenses (operational and programmatic), we are seeking to establish a reserve fund that will cover between 5 and 6 months of expenses. That will require $250,000 to augment our current reserve fund.
Our physical facilities in Española, NM, are the heart home for our work. Funding from this campaign will enable much-needed renovations on our office building and will create a new wing that will serve as a training and community gathering space. This expansion is even more important now because it will allow us to ensure physical distancing for in-person gatherings at such a time that these are again possible.
Funding will also ensure the safety of both people and facilities. Security has always been a concern at our office location, and since March 2020 when we transitioned to a telecommuting model in order to protect staff health and abide by the Governor’s public health orders, our office building has been more vulnerable to break-ins.
During this time, we are remembering the importance of community practice and collective care.
Because we believe it’s important to take care of not only buildings but the people who give their life energy to this work, we are establishing a Staff Wellness and Sustainability Fund. This fund will provide our hard-working staff with health care benefits, increased paid time off, and a sabbatical program for longer-term staff. In this time of COVID, this kind of self-care becomes even more important, especially since many of our staff are also parents, and some of them are taking care of their elders as well.
Includes: Wellness Stipends ($4,000 annual stipend for every staff who works 20 hours or more per week, to be used at their discretion to support their wellbeing); three-month paid sabbaticals for long-term staff; may also include coverage of health insurance premiums and/or retirement funds.
When women are safe and secure in all aspects – including economically –
our families and communities are stronger.
– Stephine Poston, Pueblo of Sandia
Maria Martinez, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, once described money as being like water in the sense that both are about currency and currents. Water is more than hydrogen and oxygen – it makes life possible. Babies begin life in fluids within mother. As we exist and enter unto Earth Mother, we know water as the giver of life. In a similar way, money, while not an end in itself, is a current that makes things possible.
This Journey of Generosity is an opportunity to channel resources and currency to Tewa Women United that will strengthen our capacity to do this work for the next 30 years and beyond. In the words of Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth, it’s an invitation to use money as medicine, and to heal historical injustices and inequities.