[View the story "Together for New Mexico's Children" on Storify]Together for New Mexico's ChildrenWKKF 2014 New Mexico grantee conveningStorified by WKKF· Thu, Jul 31 2014 18:07:34 New Mexico is a vibrant and unique place, rich with culture, resilience and possibilities. On July 23-24, 2014, more than 200 leaders from across the state came together to share stories and strategies at the 2014 W.K. Kellogg Foundation New Mexico grantee convening, Together for New Mexico's Children, at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in Santa Ana Pueblo.The diverse group of grantee organizations ranged in issue areas from early childhood development to family financial security and native education to local sustainable food, brought together by their shared vision for unlocking the powerful potential of their state.Over the two days, attendees engaged in thoughtful conversations and inspired learning, not to only strengthen their ability to create change but also to explore new ways of building connections to create collective impact.DAY ONEThe day began with the signature banter of the convening's emcees and WKKF grantees, MÛnica CÛrdova of the SouthWest Organizing Project and Frank Lopez of NGage New Mexico.2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg FoundationWKKF President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron gave New Mexico grantees a warm welcome, shared more about the foundation's vision and inspired the room with her own "I am from..." poem. "We believe in the capacity of people to change their own lives." Kellogg FND CEO. Absolutely! LaJune is on Fire! #togetherNMDerek Mitchell"I am from..." by La June Montgomery TabronkelloggfoundationKara Carlisle, WKKF director of New Mexico programs, shared some of the inspiring work done by grantees over the past several years, and while highlighting some sobering statistics, she encouraged the room to continue re-imagining and striving for the future of New Mexico and all its children.Kara Carlisle #togetherNM tells the story of the children in nm and ongoing work of partners to shift the future http://t.co/VeHC8iNVCCAli Webb"Focus on whats going on with the community, what they are talking about, and unleash that!" - Kara, NM Kellogg #TogetherNMEncuentro NMIn the first plenary, panelists and grantee partners discussed Early Childhood: Where Our Future Begins and learned that an indispensable part of building a strong future for New Mexico's children starts in the early years.Moderated by Adri·n Pedroza, WKKF Community Leadership Network program fellow, of Partnership for Community Action, the panel included Dr. Jane Clarke of the First Judicial District Infant Team, Trisha Moquino of the Keres Childrenís Learning Center and Bill Jordan of New Mexico Voices for Children. At the Kellogg Grantee Convening! Excited for this panel in Early Childhood development & Education! #TogetherNM http://t.co/j7at7yjdwcMÛnica CÛrdova'We want our children to be strong in every way... Language is the key to recognize who we are." T. Moquino, Keres CLC #togetherNMDerek Mitchell#togethernm 10% annual return on investment for every dollar invested in high quality early childhood education. Why do we wait?Ona PorterThe collective learning and sharing continued over lunch with three brief stories of impact presented by Regis Pecos of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute and Tania Esparza and Esperanza Dodge, both from Young Women United."How can we define Education for our purposes"- Regis Pecos Indian School Leadership Institute #TogetherNM http://t.co/w371IKTEBtCandelario VazquezEsperanza YWUs Mamas Justice Organizer- It's so important to meet our clients where they are at #birthing justice #breastfeeding #TogetherNmYoung Women UnitedWith ideas of cultural recognition and celebration fresh in the room, the second panel, moderated by Carnell Chosa of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, launched into a critical look at the impact of racism on the evolution of education in three different areas: Haiti, Mexico and the native communities in New Mexico. Alix Cantave, a WKKF program officer for Haiti, walked the audience through some startling realities about the history and current model of education in Haiti, including the fact that the majority of children speak Creole but are taught only in French. How can acknowledging colonial and racist legacies be used to view the power and quality of education through a different lens?How many of our students hear the language of their education for the first time at school? #plenary #togetherNMPrincipalCandelariaDeconstruct the expectations of kids or how teachers treat them and you'll see the legacy of Racism. #togetherNMDerek MitchellSylvia Schmelkes of the National Institute for the Evaluation of Education, who has won several awards for her research and prolific writing on the quality of education, spoke about the historical and institutional oppression of indigenous people in Mexico. To be economically poor but culturally rich is not understood in Mexico. different = poor. #togethernm http://t.co/z9981avzgOLaurel WyckoffColonization shaped today's education systems for Mexico, Haiti and the U.S. Point is...social structures of inequity embedded. #togetherNMPamala SilasTo build off the day's increasing excitement and cross-issue dialogue, grantees had the chance to connect more deeply and think creatively about potential collaborations through a design activity. In small groups, each participant detailed the strengths and assets of their organization. Then, after evaluating the resources available in each group, they were challenged to dream up an integrated program to best serve the families of New Mexico. What kind of impact would be possible if New Mexico combined the resources of its leading organizations?2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg FoundationImagine creating programs and services that fully promote AlL children thriving. #togetherNM http://t.co/7O518mtT72Baji RankinAfter an exciting day making new connections and sharing experiences, the grantees came together again for dinner and laughs.Congratulations were shared with the very first cohort of WKKF Community Leadership Network Fellows from New Mexico.WKKF Community Leadership Network Fellows from #NewMexico come together at the 2014 NM Grantee Convening! #togetherNM http://t.co/yh25at6luqWKKFThen, as a lighthearted end to the action-packed first day, the group experienced a different kind of social activism - Hari Kondabolu's stand up comedy act.Laughter heals. Social justice + comedy = awesome. @harikondabolu #togetherNM @WK_Kellogg_FdnPhoenix AsifaDAY TWOThe second day kicked off with reflections and more stories of impact shared by three grantees. Sarah Nolan of NM Communities in Action and Faith (CAFÈ) shared how she was reminded about the importance of reclaiming indigenous heritage and identity, through language, education and community.Lisa Renner of Parents as Teachers was grateful to be surrounded by peers doing great work and fighting for the same, and often difficult, goals.Pauly Denetclaw of Generation Justice shared her commitment to battling the effect of historical trauma on education, particularly the wiping of native history from the minds of her fellow young Native Americans.@genjustice Pauly Dentclaw-A young Native American I never got my own history.I must teach the next gen #togetherNM http://t.co/5YNV4pLO2fYoung Women UnitedGrantees were then encouraged to create their own spaces to learn from each other, deepen connections and develop new collaborative ideas. After a short brainstorm on the topics, grantees met to pursue the emerging theme they desired, with the themes ranging from food justice to movement building. 2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg Foundation2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg Foundation2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg FoundationCheryl New Mexico Acequia Association- Do we try to fix broken systems or do we deconstruct them and create new systems #togetherNMYoung Women UnitedIn the afternoon, as a final round of learning activities, participants attended two workshops of their choosing. Several sessions included discussions with WKKF staff, including Measuring Impact: Learning and Evaluation with Linh Nguyen, the foundation's vice president for Learning & Impact and interim vice president for program strategy. Other workshops included technical assistance in key organizational areas such as funding strategies, storytelling, bookkeeping and advocacy and lobbying.Linh Nguyen says no data without stories and no stories without data. #togetherNM @WK_Kellogg_Fdn http://t.co/cgJeV9VLr7Laurel Wyckoff2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg Foundation2014 WKKF New Mexico Grantee ConveningW.K. Kellogg FoundationAs the convening drew to a close, Kara Carlisle, WKKF director of New Mexico programs, brought grantees together to share final thoughts. Leaving #togetherNM with commitment to transform each day.Sharon HendersonAs the @WK_Kellogg_Fdn New Mexico convening winds down, I am excited to get to work! NM WILL do better! #togetherNMAndrea SerranoAs an appreciation to the group, Kara shared a quote by Paulo Freire: "...people develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves; they come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation."In the end, it was clear that the community leaders left with new partnerships, deeper understandings and a shared commitment to the transformation of New Mexico for the brighter future of all of its children.