Albuquerque, NM

Making Connections International District

Making Connections International District

Making Connections International District (MC:ID) is a youth-led collaborative that brings together youth-serving organizations to channel the residents’ many strengths and assets in Albuquerque’s International District and Southeast Quadrant. Following the leadership of young people, MC:ID collectively identifies solutions to community trauma that contributes to anxiety, drug overdose, and the country’s fourth highest suicide rate for young men. This program is engaging young men of color to be change agents in their community and also creating opportunities for young men of color to channel their natural leadership in spaces that foster healthy masculinity. It is also empowering them to advocate for policies that address the root causes of poor health and mental health.

 

 

 

 

How They're Solving the Problem

How They're Solving the Problem

This project is aimed at addressing stress and trauma experienced by young men of color whose lives are disproportionately impacted by violence and poverty. Their predominantly Latino community suffers from high rates of suicide for young men as well as substance misuse and community trauma.

At its core, MC:ID emphasizes supportive relationships and shared leadership, and coalition partners are collaborating to implement the following activities:

  • Holding gatherings ranging from cooking classes to community meetings to support relationship-building and leadership development.
  • Delivering workshops about social and emotional health, the community determinants of health, and policy advocacy.
  • Hosting a group that supports young men who became fathers in their teens. These young men then mentor younger men about healthy relationships.
  • Providing on-the-job training and leadership development opportunities in community organizing and advocacy.
  • Advocating for policies like education reform, transportation access, and mandatory training about the meaning of sexual consent.

 

Impact

Impact

The coalition is creating change as demonstrated by:

  • Increased capacity of young men of color to participate in community projects and initiatives occurring in their community.
  • Young men of color who are connected to the International District are beginning to be seen by the City of Albuquerque, state legislators, and other key decision makers in the community as partners who provide valuable insight to key decisions impacting community. 
  • A new narrative about young men of color in which they are leaders and community assets, which counters the negative and stereotypical narrative about young men of color.

 

 

Participating Organizations

 Together for Brothers

Men of Color Initiative

Native American Community Academy

APEX

 

Check Out These Related Podcasts

Engaging Youth Leaders

Exploring Health Masculinities Part 1

        

Photo Credit for All Photos: Making Connections International District