Doña  Ana Communities United
April 2018  Newsletter

Greetings DACU members and supporters! We are excited to bring you our monthly updates. Since our last newsletter, we've completed the Chaparral story map, co-hosted an event with Border Servant Corps, supported a theatre production, and broadcast more  Just Community episodes . Read on to learn more!

DACU Director 
Kari Bachman
DACU Outreach Coordinator 
Meredith Severtson

Upcoming DACU Events

Timebank Orientations
April 23, 5:30-7 PM
May 19, 2-3:30 PM

Timebank Potlucks
April 28, 12-2 PM
May 25, 6-8 PM

DACU Team Meeting
May 31, 11 AM- 1 PM

All events will be held at the DACU office (151 S Walnut Street, Unit B13).
You'll find directions at the bottom of this newsletter.

Chaparral Story Map

We have completed the story map for the Chaparral multi-use trail project! The map depicts input gathered from Chaparral residents between June and December 2017 regarding a multi-use trail that the County will build along Lisa Drive, Chaparral's main thoroughfare. Click here to explore our interactive story map!

The goal was to develop the capacity of Chaparral residents to inform land use planning and to engage with Doña Ana County staff and elected officials as true partners. The feedback gathered from over 400 residents will help ensure that the trail's design reflects the needs and dreams of those who live in Chaparral. This project will serve as a model of a new  form of community engagement for the County, which has traditionally presented full-blown plans for infrastructure improvements to residents.

DACU mappers and Chaparral residents Perla Díaz and Lizette Estrada devised and implemented innovative techniques to engage approximately 400 residents, including holding a caminata along the planned route of the trail and visiting with residents at the park, laundromat, Internet café, and school performances. Gathering around a large three-dimensional map that the two mappers had personalized, residents manipulated icons to illustrate their ideas regarding which amenities should be incorporated into the trail's design.

Photo by Robert Yee
Perla interacts with a resident using the giant map.

Congratulations to Perla and Lizette for a job well done! We would also like to thank our wonderful project partners: DACU member Sam Paz (a planner with the Doña Ana County Community Development Department), the NM Resiliency Alliance (which funded the work), and especially the residents of Chaparral!

Border Servant Corps Community Night 

On Tuesday, April 3 DACU co-hosted a Community Night with Border Servant Corps. Border Servant Corps (BSC) is a yearlong service program that connects individuals interested in exploring community, simplicity, social justice, and spirituality with social service organizations in Las Cruces and El Paso. Meredith Severtson and Parisa Shirazi, our current and former DACU Outreach Coordinators, were placed with DACU through BSC.

Attendees at the open house learned about DACU's health equity focus and participated in discussion about how our projects, especially the timebank, can help community members engage with one another in meaningful ways.

Photo by Robert Yee
An interesting mix of BSC members and community members attended.

Parkinson's Play

Make time this weekend to take in a free play that educates, entertains, and engages the community about Parkinson's disease.  Down the Rabbit Hole with Dr. Parkinson was created by people with Parkinson's, their caregivers, NMSU students, and other community members. DACU timebank members have been an integral part of this creative process and we are excited to see it come to fruition! The remaining p erformance dates and times are as follows: 

April 7 (2 PM) at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
April 8 (2 PM) at the Good Samaritan Society Auditorium

Just Community Radio Show

Kari continues to broadcast her live radio show Just Community Thursday mornings from 8 to 9 AM on KTAL-LP at 101.5 FM and via live stream. The show focuses on social equity and features voices not often heard in our community. Recent guests have included Kay Lilley on her work with The Beloved Community, Stanley Smith on life on the street, Al Galves on mental health, Sam Hernandez on East L.A. and cliff diving, and Haneen Omari, a Palestinian graduate student from Tennessee. 

You can listen to archived Just Community shows here. If you or someone you know is interested in being on the show, contact Kari to get involved!  

Photo by Robert Yee                                                                
Kay Lilley at a timebank event.

Stanley Smith and old-time radio stars.

Al Galves in the KTAL studio.

Photo by Robert Yee 
Sam Hernandez at the mike.

Haneen Omari at the farmers' market.

Directions to Our Office
151 South Walnut Street, Unit B13  map

You'll find DACU at the corner of Walnut and Griggs in the Walnut Business Park.  Please call before you come by as we may be out and about in the community!


City bus routes have changed! Route 6 (stops 16 and 17) and Route 7 (stop 20) still deliver passengers within blocks of our office. We are also accessible via the new Route 8 (stop 5). For more information, visit the  Roadrunner Transit webpage.

Doña Ana Communities United (DACU) builds the capacity of communities to develop and implement policies and community-based solutions that improve social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and life opportunities. We work to advance health equity in Doña Ana County by addressing institutional inequities related to geography, class, gender, and race. We are a nonpartisan organization and we welcome everyone to join us!

DACU conducts two main projects. (1) Social equity mapping: undervalued community members explore their neighborhoods and work with local decision makers to develop policies that advance health equity. Current efforts focus on the Community of Hope, the Nevada Neighborhood, and Lisa Drive in Chaparral. (2) hOurTime timebank: members build social cohesion and practice an equitable form of alternative economics by exchanging services.