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Current Cohort

2023 Fall Leadership Institute

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The main purpose of this institute is to take a proactive role in the development of new generations of leaders in our communities.


A major part of our time is spent on discussing and analyzing significant issues that impact our communities.  


Our Future Community Leaders (FCLs) will envision and prepare an action plan aimed at addressing and understanding issues that affect our New Mexican communities (e.g. water rights; land; health disparities; food justice; environmental justice; educational equity; etc.).  


The framework that we follow is the Community Restorative and Transformative Justice framework that incorporates community principles, values, traditions, and ways of thinking and knowing that can help us to have a better relationship with our community and our ecosystem.





One aspect of the institute focuses on legislation and policy development.  


We believe that it is vital for our FCLs to understand how the legislative process works, how it connects to their lives, and how legislative decisions can in turn positively or negatively affect our communities.


We want FCLs to understand the value of policy development in our state and how it affects the social, economic, political, and cultural development of our local communities.  


Ideally, FCLs will incorporate what they learn about the legislative session in their action plans so policy development can be meaningful and “alive.” 

The institute culminates in a community presentation of a report based on their action plans. 


This final report will include an assessment of what the issue was, who are the main parties involved in the legislation (both for and against), the consequences for the passage of the bill or policy, and recommendations for moving forward.


Community leaders, researchers, scholars, and other young adults will be involved in the educational process so that this institute becomes an intergenerational exchange of knowledge, expertise, and know-how.





Because CESOSS is firmly grounded in our local South Valley community, we strongly believe in the interconnectedness of history, land, water, culture, and traditions.


We will discuss the deep connections that this community (as others) has to the land and water and how important the preservation of culture and traditions is to local communities. 


We also have incorporated policy development as one of the larger frames for this curriculum because we believe that it is pivotal for developing leaders to understand the importance and impact policy has on our local communities. 


We can no longer afford for our communities and youth to see themselves as detached from legislation and policy development.



 Migration & World Connections

History of Our People/Struggles

Know Thyself

Becoming a Leader/Macehual Model

 Legislation/Policy Development 

What's the present and what’s the future?

Research/Technology/Social Media as a Tool

Tool Communication, advocacy, and community organizing 


Historical and legal connections to Land and Water through Restorative and Transformative Justice

Stewards of Land & Water

Importance of Culture and Traditions

Knowledge from the land place cultures of New Mexico


Our entire curriculum utilizes a critical approach based on a social justice lens that is rooted both in restoring our connection to land and water and transforming how we establish this connection in the context of our own well-being within our community.  


This means that we will approach and introduce every concept with a more critical perspective that teaches FCLs about the inequities that exist in our society, and how we can respond to these inequalities in a manner that brings justice and peaceful reconciliation to focus on what really matters, which is to work and live in our communities in a manner that is sustainable for future generations. This is done so that FCLs understand that we do this work so that we become community advocates who are not only aware of the injustices and inequalities, but also community advocates who understand and can analyze the underlying and complex structures in place that perpetuate and uphold oppressive and abusive systems.

It is also our goal to help FCLs understand that there are alternative forms of leadership and activism that take place in our communities.  


We want FCLs to break from the traditional notions of what it means to be a leader. We believe in the principles of the upside pyramid and thus we promote a leadership formation that is based on the leaders carrying the pyramid rather than the pyramid carrying the leader.


Our model is based on the principles of equality (I), unity (U), equity (--),, and hermandad (H). We follow the principle that we are all related in our quest for achieving balance within our ecosystem. We want to encourage our FCLs to understand the problematic notions behind individuals coming into local communities with top-down and/or quick-fix approaches. Local communities are vibrant and complex spaces that need to be treated with utmost respect.  


Our ultimate goal is to help in the development of future leaders who are critical, who have a critical consciousness, and who work alongside communities in order to elicit change, achieve justice, and put in the vanguard not only the integrity of our communities today, but those of our future generations.   

Check out our Current Cohort!

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