Doña  Ana Communities United
May 2018  Newsletter

April was a busy month at DACU, with several events that gave us a chance to connect with the communities around us. We participated in the Volunteer Fair and Earth Day, painted a street mural on the Campus of Hope driveway, and put on a Share Fair at Lynn Middle School. We also had a wonderful visit from former DACU Outreach Coordinator Parisa Shirazi, who attended our inaugural DACU BSC retreat and a timebank steering committee visioning session.

We want to thank you for all you do to build community and advance health equity in Doña Ana County. We are excited about DACU's future and look forward to continuing to work with you!

DACU Director 
Kari Bachman
DACU Outreach Coordinator 
Meredith Severtson

Upcoming DACU Events

Timebank Orientations
May 19, 2-3:30 PM
June 13, 5:30-7 PM

Timebank Get-Togethers
May 25, 6-8 PM (Game Night)
June 16, 5:30-7 PM

DACU Team Meetings
May 31, 11 AM-1 PM
July 26, 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.

Visit from Parisa Shirazi

In late April, we were lucky enough to host former DACU Outreach Coordinator Parisa Shirazi for a whirlwind visit! (Parisa was placed with DACU through Border Servant Corps during the 2016-2017 term. She now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she works at the American Heart Association.)

Parisa's visit featured a timebank hike, timebank potluck, and the first ever DACU BSC retreat. Parisa, Kari, and Meredith spent two days in Truth or Consequences reflecting on DACU's work and beginning to craft a shared long-term vision for the future. Before Parisa left, we also squeezed in a timebank steering committee visioning session. 

We are so grateful to have had this chance to spend time with one another. Thank you, Parisa, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your gifts with the DACU family!

Kari, Parisa, and Meredith at the DACU office.

DACU and Timebank Visioning Sessions

DACU held two visioning sessions in April. The first took place during the DACU retreat where Kari, Parisa, and Meredith reflected on DACU's long-term vision and goals. The second took place at our April timebank steering committee meeting where members shared their ideas on how the timebank should change and grow over the coming years. You can learn more  on our website.

These two sessions contributed to the revision of the DACU vision and mission statements (see below). We hope you'll take a moment to read them and share your thoughts with us. Everyone's input is welcome!

Timebank Steering Committee members after our visioning session.
(Clockwise from top left: Florence Hamilton, Susan Ansara, Kari Bachman, Shelly Nichols-Shaw, Parisa Shirazi, Rosa Herrera with Buddy, and Meredith Severtson.)
"Slow" Mural

DACU Social Equity Mappers have painted a "Slow" mural on the long driveway leading into the Campus of Hope! After numerous planning meetings, including several with Community of Hope director Nicole Martinez, the mappers took to the street on a very windy Sunday. This somewhat temporary installation is a first step in finding longterm safety solutions for this busy driveway.

After observing the area multiple times before and after the installation, the mappers concluded that the mural has calmed traffic and made the driveway a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists. Before the artwork was painted, 32 percent of vehicles were observed to be traveling over 20 mph. Several days afterwards, that percentage had dropped to 12 percent. Though speeds have crept back up a bit, conversations with staff (who make up some of the speedy drivers) indicate that the images are a helpful reminder to them to drive more slowly. 

Special thanks to lead artist Saba; our new partner artists Ryan and Leon; and Campus of Hope community members Mark, Javier, and Rachel who surveyed and painted for hours on a very dusty day!
Photo by Robert Yee
DACU social equity mapper Darryl Martinelli removes the tape from one of the seven "Slow" images the mappers painted on the Campus of Hope driveway.

Share Fair

On April 14th, DACU held a share fair and cookout at Lynn Community School as part of the Nevada Neighborhood Project. Residents built relationships as they shared services including guitar playing, knot tying, mending, and shoe shining.

Many thanks to our wonderful public health interns Andrea, Rachael, and Ruben for planning the event. We are also grateful to the timebank members who shared their skills. Let us know if you'd like to help organize a similar event for timebank members!

Photos by Robert Yee
Kansas Chuck took to the streets on his bicycle to promote the Share Fair.

Phynix Drake shares her face painting skills with Cyrruss Easterlin.

Lynn student Mackenzie García helps neighborhood children make slime.

Volunteer Fair and Earth Day

In April we participated in two public events on the downtown plaza: the Las Cruces Volunteer Fair and the Earth Day Festival. At both events, we got a chance to connect with individuals and organizations and spread the word about DACU and the timebank. 

At the Earth Day event, several timebank members participated in a circle read of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring to raise awareness of the use of pesticides in our community. This project was initiated and led by timebank member John Hamilton. If you are interested in proposing a collaborative project such as this one, please contact us!

Photo by Robert Yee
NMSU student Andrea Manini (second from left) and timebank member Rosa Herrera (center) talk with prospective timebank members at the Volunteer Fair.

Just Community Radio Show

Kari continues to broadcast her live radio show Just Community on KTAL-LP every Thursday morning from 8 to 9 AM. (Tune your dial to 101.5 FM or listen to the show online.) 

The show focuses on social equity and features voices not often heard in our community. Recent guests include street artist and free thinker Leon Miramontes, public health professional and recent immigrant Julia Rausch, filmmaker and activist Julian Alexander, and chef and Lordsburg native Felipe Álvarez. 

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                                                                
Leon Miramontes at the recent share fair.

Julia Rausch in front of the KTAL program board.

Julian Alexander on a location shoot.

Felipe Álvarez at the KTAL station.

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.

A vibrant Doña Ana County in which all residents share their gifts and attain their own visions of health.

Mission:  Doña Ana Communities United is an affirming nonpartisan community-based organization. DACU is rooted in the gifts and needs of those whose voices often go unheard. We carry out creative community-driven projects to eliminate structural barriers that often prevent residents from reaching their full potential. In partnership with decision makers, DACU aims to forge equitable public policies and participation processes.

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.