Equity, Evidence & Engagement
TREE Center Policy ‘n Equity Training Institute; Equity, Evidence, and Engagement
Submitted By: Alicia Rodriguez, MPA

August 10th, the first day of the TREE Center Equity ‘n Policy Training Institute welcomed fourteen partnership teams that included 63 participants. The training institute began with a guided meditation led by Tammi Lambert (Spiritual Practitioner), to share her message of being “true in heart” and how the work we are doing for the TREE Center is transformative and each one of us has our own way of working toward the same goal. 

The guided meditation followed by speakers, Dr. Cacari Stone’s and Dr. Wilger’s presentation on “Foundations of Equity ‘n Policy” and Dr. Cacari Stone’s presentation regarding “Evidence Informed Policy Making”; and Dr. Lee’s and Dr. BeLue’s presentation on The Policy Making Process. Presentations created the opportunity for participants to collaborate and engage in “14 salons” to dialogue on policy briefs that address disproportionate adverse impacts of social disadvantage on racial and ethnic communities.

The second day, August 11th, of the TREE Center Equity ‘n Policy Training Institute joined by Hazel James Tohe’ with a Native Traditional Evaluation of Self Care & Equity and followed by presentation: “What is Good Evidence”? By Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Cacari Stone, followed by topics: “Applying Equity to Policy” and “Framing a Policy from an Equity Lens” presented by Sheila Savannah and Sean Haley. On day 2 of the training institute, the “14 salons” met to discuss policy brief exercises from the learned skills and team development processes needed to master public health/policy opportunities.

The training institute closed with “Next Steps” summarized by Dr. Cacari Stone to provide guidance for processes needed to develop policy briefs identifying the problems, and how to frame the identified problems by those who are mobilized to face the challenges that need sound policies and follow good evidence to close the gaps that remain between research, policy and practice.  
Historical Trauma, Microaggressions, and COVID-19 
Submitted by: Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, PhD; Deidre Begay, PhD; and Ryan Sanchez (Pueblo of San Felipe; UNM Research Coordinator)

American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities face the challenge of combating the disproportionate and alarming rates of COVID-19 per capita within tribal communities. Further, AIAN communities have long endured consistent microaggressions, including daily verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities, from non-AIAN populations related to their race and now their potential COVID-19 health status. Microaggressions are defined as everyday intentional or unintentional exchanges that are denigrating to people of color and come in the form of microinsults, microassaults, or microinvalidations (Sue, et. al, 2007). AIAN populations encounter a “double jeopardy” of microaggressions due to race and assumed COVID-19 status that is compounded by the assumed minimal harm of microaggressions. During the ongoing pandemic, there has been a lack of media coverage regarding the ways that the pandemic has impacted AIAN communities and increased the occurrences of microaggressions. Examples from local, state and national events that communicate insults, indignities and threaten tribal communities and sovereignty were discussed in the context of historical trauma and microaggressions. Further, these interactions are pervasive to overall individual health and wellness by triggering historical trauma, defined as the cumulative, emotional and psychological wounding across generations, including the lifespan (Brave Heart, et.al, 2016). 

Recently, a group of faculty and staff affiliated with TREE Center presented Historical Trauma, Microaggressions, and COVID-19: Collective and Individual Responses among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The event was moderated by Steven P. Verney, PhD (Tsimshian), Co-Principal Investigator for TREE. Presenters included: Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, PhD, (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota; TREE CO-PI), Deidre Begay, PhD (Diné; Counseling Psychology Post-Doctoral Fellow), and Ryan Sanchez (Pueblo of San Felipe; UNM Research Coordinator), Contributions included non-TREE colleagues Josephine Chase, PhD (Mandan-Hidatsa, Hunkpapa Lakota, and Yanktonai Dakota) and Caroline Bonham, MD, University of New Mexico Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

The presentation covered how tribal communities continue to struggle with ongoing healing from historical trauma and how this process has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters also discussed how the ongoing pandemic has brought forth additional trauma. Despite these wounds, tribal communities have demonstrated historical resilience. The cultural and tribal practices passed from one generation to the next highlight show generational resilience has fortified communities during this pandemic.

The following is a link to this important presentation for more information:
Transdisciplinary Research, Equity and Engagement Center for Advancing Behavioral Health (TREE Center) NIMHD Grant # U54 MD004811-09
Virtual Writing Studios:
Advancing Team Writing and Knowledge for Health Equity

Thursday, Fall 2020, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM


  • September: 17

  • October: 1, 15, & 29

  • November: 12

  • December: 3 & 17

Nina Wallerstein, DrPH, Steven Verney, PhD & Lisa Cacari Stone, PhD

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health is hosting a virtual symposium on Sept.17 to highlight state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations. Registration for Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities virtual symposium is open! Register now to participate in discussions with experts leading these efforts at all levels to confront the pandemic.
The symposium breakout sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including:
  • COVID-19 racial and ethnic data and data-informed responses  
  • How health equity can drive state, territorial, and tribal COVID-19 responses 
  • Community-based and culturally appropriate approaches for addressing COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority populations 

Click here to read more about our upcoming event.
We look forward to you joining us! 
SOC 430* Intersectionality Race, Gender, Class for Social Policy

Late Starting Course from December 21, 2020 - January 16, 2021

Dr. Nancy Lopez will be teaching a late starting course about Intersectionality Race, Gender, Class for Social Policy! Registration will be available by mid October.

In the meantime folks can email Dr. Lopez for more info.

Nancy López, Ph.D., Professor, Sociology (she, her, ella) I’m first-gen!
Associate Vice President, Division for Equity and Inclusion
Director & Co-founder, Institute for the Study of “Race” & Social Justice, http://race.unm.edu/ 
Coordinator, New Mexico Statewide Race, Gender, Class Data Policy Consortium
Co-Chair, UNM 2020 Census Complete Count Committee; last day for self response 9/30: https://my2020census.gov/
Affiliated Faculty: Africana Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, 
Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies 
Secondary Appointment: College of Education; College of Population Health
Vice President, Sociologists for Women in Society, 2019-2021
Secretary, American Sociological Association, 2019-2022 
MSCO5 3080, 1 University of New Mexico (Soc. Science Bldg. 1053)
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, nlopez@unm.edu; Office Tel: 505 277-3101    
Don't Forget to Complete Your 2020 Census!

Last day for Self Response is September 30, 2020!

Go to my2020census.gov to fill out your Census!
NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research Now Available

The NIH-Wide COVID-19 Strategic Plan, released on July 13, 2020, provides a framework describing how NIH is accelerating the development of therapeutic interventions, vaccines, and diagnostics in response to the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic. It describes how NIH is rapidly mobilizing the biomedical research community, such as through establishing new programs that leverage existing resources, to lead a swift, coordinated research response.
Resources on Health Equity in the Context of COVID-19 and Disproportionate Outcomes for Marginalized Groups

Disproportionate outcomes for people of color related to COVID-19 most recently illuminate the structural barriers to good health faced by our nation's most vulnerable and marginalized populations. The realities of systemic bias and structural racism that give rise to inequities have health consequences for individuals and communities across the United States and on the well-being of our society.

The National Academy of Medicine's Culture of Health Program is committed to advancing the scientific underpinnings for progress in health equity and sharing evidence-based strategies to bring about the transformation necessary to dismantle structural racism and ultimately achieve health equity for all - mitigating the effects of the current crisis and safeguarding the well-being of our nation for the future. 

They have compiled a list of resources on health equity in the context of COVID-19. These resources will be updated regularly.  
UNM HSC TREE Center Events Calendar - September 2020
Click on the Calendar to View More
UNM HSC TREE Center Events Calendar - October 2020