Projects and Partnership Initiatives

CEC Project Areas

All CEC project areas utilize critical pedagogy through a critical race theory lens to inform practice and long term community engagement

Adult Bilingual Literacy - projects provide community members with English as a Second Language instruction through the use of critical dialogue and community advocacy for social consciousness

Community Health - projects include affordable care act team, affordable healthcare clinics, prevention, rehabilitations, social-emotional wellness, and traditional ways of healing

Community Sustainability - Projects include a variety of grassroots community projects including environmental justice, community arts, and cultural reclamation.

Corps without Border - Project learns from community partners and leaders to have a better understanding of the underlying socio-political and economic factors that contribute to the conditions of our borderlands

DREAM Team - Listo NM Campaign - Dream Team Service Corps project that provides information about recent immigration policies and strengthens support services for immigrant youth and families.

Economic Justice - projects include developing and implementing financial literacy curriculum for elementary and high school aged students, a dual credit/university course, and workshops for students and families

FoodCorps - projects provide hands-on nutrition education, participation in school and community gardens, address healthy food access, and help build strong local food systems

NM Civic Engagement - projects focus on high school and college aged students connecting to larger socio-political issues through direct service, advocacy, and policy change

TeacherCorps - project includes higher education students engaged in education majors serving in community based schools to designing and implement experiential curriculum based on a holistic, multi-disciplinary, community-based approach to critical literacy

Tribal Service Corps - projects focus on cultural identity development, health and well-being, academic preparedness, leadership development, and community engagement

Youth Development - projects focus on academic enrichment, college preparedness, mentorship, and leadership development

Partnership Initiatives


The CEC Staff are members of the Collaborative for Hispano/Latino Health Equity (CHLHE) who has a vision to improve health equity and access to quality healthcare, building on and learning from the local capacity of New Mexico communities. CHLHE aims to work together to identify, address and advocate for improved social determinants of health for underserved/underrepresented populations in New Mexico.

College for Social Transformation

The UNM Community Engagement Center is a founding member of the College for Social Transformation (CST) Planning Committee. Members includes Directors and faculty members from the following programs: Africana Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Community Engagement Center, the Institute for the Study of “Race” and Social Justice, Native American Studies, Peace Studies, Sustainability Studies, Research Service Learning Program, Women Studies and the emerging Asian American Studies program. CST will be a unit whose central mission is to support teaching, research, scholarship, and civic engagement that further critical investigation and interpretation, social justice, and social transformation of knowledge into effective policies and practices that address the needs of vulnerable populations in the state of New Mexico.


The Community Engagement Center has operated from an antiracism perspective since 1998. Recruitment of staff and UNM Service Corps members is with an intentional focus on creating a multi-racial cohort. All classes and workshops have an antiracism focus. Formal antiracism training opportunities have been offered to the UNM Service Corps through The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, which focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. The current CEC director has been through their “training of the trainers” leadership development and is one of many local trainers through the Antiracism Training Institute of the Southwest.

UNM Provost’s Diversity Council

The twenty-two-member Diversity Council began their work on November 22, 2011. The current CEC director is co-chair of the Provost’s Diversity Council. Recognizing the implications of an historic race and ethnicity gap in graduation rates, the current UNM administration seeks ways to address issues of inequity that impede student success. The concrete measures outlined by the DC proceed from a fundamental belief that student graduation rates are but one marker of a gap in student achievement, and that measures taken to ensure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of New Mexico benefit all members of the UNM community as well as the people of the State of New Mexico. Thus, the task of UNM’s Diversity Council is not so much to create diversity as it is to ensure inclusion of and accessibility for all members of its diverse community, and in doing so to examine the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion for groups of people that have experienced inequitable treatment over a long period of time.

AVP Student Services Collective Impact and Outlook Committee

CEC is one of the founding organizations of the AVPSS Collective Impact and Outlook Committee. The committee has been designing and developing a data collection and analysis model to capture the impact of Student Service’s programs. Questions the group looked at include: Do students in Student Services have better college success, retention and graduation rates? What are the student-level characteristics of students participating in a Student Services program? Do students who participate in a pre-collegiate program graduate high school at a higher rate and matriculate to college? How does this vary by ethnicity, SES, parental education status and gender? How does participation in a student services program impact New Mexico achievement gaps between Hispanic and White, low-income and higher income and first-generation and non-first generation students?

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RRED)

Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RRED) in the Justice System is a sub-committee of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The Community Engagement Center (CEC) staff are members on the sub-committee that is actively addressing institutional racism in the justice system: CEC was invited to the committee by long standing community partners at La Plazita Institute.