I've had the privilege of working alongside Tewa Women United in a professional capacity for nearly a year, and have found them to bring extraordinary passion, clarity, and expertise to their work. They are passionate about serving the Pueblo people in their region; they are clear about the inner resources and outside pressures they and their constituents face; they are expert at crafting effective programs to meet the needs they identify as most pressing. Every person who works at TWU is there because they believe their effort will help make a change for the better, and the stories I've heard confirm that they are right. Tewa Women United fills a crucial role in northern New Mexico, working on multiple fronts to put an end to the rampant violence against women and to support the rights of indigenous people in the region. Their work is invested with a deep spirituality even as it takes a pragmatic approach to the world as it is. For TWU (or any small nonprofit working for social justice) to have survived as an organization for as long as it has is something of a miracle; for it to thrive, to face new challenges and find positive solutions from diverse arenas, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the extraordinary people who comprise the organization.
As a professional in the field of social justice, I have seen how Tewa Women United provides extraordinary support to the community through its hard working staff and events that promote the strength and resiliency of the pueblo people and traditions. The separate program areas are coordinated to address root causes of violence and injustice in a holistic way. The organization is committed to continuous quality improvement, and has recently completed a series of activities to strengthen its capacity for effectively promoting social change. Staff have benefited from many opportunities for professional development and leadership.
Tewa Women United is a unique, dynamic and responsive community-based organization that has, for more than two decades, built a solid, effective intersectional analysis and action based in Native values. If this organization did not exist, there would be a gaping hole in the community. As a non-tribally affiliated organization, TWU works across pueblos on issues of tremendous importance in a way other entities, mired in bureaucracy, often can't. They have current audits on file and have solid, long-term relationships with many competent, well-informed funders within the state of NM and across the country. They are a long-standing and respected member of local, state, national and international communities working for health, safety and environmental justice.
Tewa Women United has been a pathbreaking organization since its inception. TWU has courageously taken on the work of ending violence against Native women and girls. With vision, commitment and profound integrity, TWU has made lasting change not just in the immediate community but nationally and internationally where its work has been consistently held up as a model. TWU's successes in its main focus areas of sexual violence, environmental justice, health, and economic freedom, combined with the healing of mind, body and spirit, demonstrates that if such holistic approaches were more mainstream, we would stand a chance at effectively ending violence in our lives. As a women's rights advocate, it has been a true gift and honor to come across TWU. It fills me with such hope, and I am grateful that TWU is doing the importatn work that it's doing and that it can share with many others so we too can learn from their wisdom.