We began our work in New Mexico in 1945. Today, we remain focused on working with the state’s communities to create a future that is equitable across boundaries of language, ethnicity and national origin, in which all children thrive. And we are committed to doing so while embracing the wisdom of the state’s unique cultural, social and governance traditions.
Why This Work Matters
New Mexico is one of the most diverse states in the U.S., with large Native American and Hispanic populations. But this vibrant community faces significant barriers to health and success, including high rates of poverty, inequitable levels of educational achievement and poor access to quality food and health care. One quarter of the state’s children live in poverty, and rates are even higher for the state’s Native American, Hispanic, and immigrant children.
Our experience in New Mexico has left us with a strong appreciation for the cultural and social traditions that define and distinguish the state. With its rich sense of place as an advantage, we work with grantees and partners in New Mexico to tackle the root causes of inequities and to support enduring, community-led solutions.
Our commitment to the state is also reflected in the regional office we opened in Albuquerque in 2012.
What We Support
WKKF partners with a diverse portfolio of grantees to help ensure that New Mexico’s children are healthy, well-educated and economically secure. We concentrate our investments in Bernalillo (specifically South Valley), Doña Ana, McKinley and San Juan counties and in Native communities across the state, because it is estimated that more than half of vulnerable children in New Mexico live in those places.
Our grantmaking emphasizes several interrelated program areas specific to the needs of New Mexico’s children – including access to healthy food. We support programs that extend mother-to-mother support for women who breastfeed their babies, help communities strengthen their local food systems and integrate healthier foods into schools.
We also support programs that improve early childhood education, including increasing access to home visitation.
We also focus our work on helping industries and technical education programs align so there are clear pathways to employment for diverse populations. We support families in developing a base of financial security that will enable them to support and engage in the education of their children and to save for the future.
Additionally, we are also committed to helping develop diverse local leaders with influence and who can help leverage other local and national philanthropic dollars.