Our goal: To collaborate on the creation of agreed-upon and actionable recommendations
to transform behavioral health in New Mexico.
Town Hall Program
DAY ONE (Wednesday, June 15)
8:30 am – Check in/ Breakfast
9:00 am – Opening
- Welcome Message: Marcus Mims,
Chair, New Mexico First Board
- Invocation: Vernon B. Abeita,
Governor, Pueblo of Isleta
- Emcee Alicia Manzano
- Messages from the Honorable Martin Heinrich & Ben Ray Lujan, United States Senators
Your Virtual Emcee: Carlos Contreras
Panel Discussion – Moderator: Annabella Farmer, Searchlight New Mexico
- Dr. Mauricio Tohen, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Department.
- Nikka Peralta, Founder, Mending Hearts LLC
- Mariela Ruiz-Angel, City of Albuquerque Director of Albuquerque Community Safety
- Marshall Martinez, Executive Director, Equality New Mexico
10:45 am – Town Hall Overview: Alicia Manzano
11:00 am – Break and transition to breakout rooms
11:15 am – Working Group Introductions and Overview
12:00 pm – Lunch (TED Talk-like conversations)
- 12:20 pm: Greggory D. Hull, Mayor of Rio Rancho
- 12:30 pm: Stacy Burleson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women in Leadership, WIL
- 12:40 pm: Sierra Garcia-Charlie, Jonathan Alonzo and Quincy Walker, Students from Native American Community Academy
- 12:50 pm : Jodie Jepson, ABQ Street Connect/Heading Home Executive Director
1:10 pm – Working Group Recommendation Session
4:00 pm – Plenary Session: Working Group Recommendations Report-outs
4:50 pm – Overview of Day 2: Alicia Manzano
5:00 pm – Adjourn
DAY TWO (Thursday, June 16)
8:00 am – Breakfast
- Welcome Message
- Town Hall Amendment Rules:
- Opening grounding & centering exercise:
Michele Coleman, Ph.D., LMFT, Founder and CEO of Attachment Healing Center
8:45 am – Transition to breakout rooms
9:00 am – Working Group Session
10:15 am – Break
10:30 am – Working Group Amendment Session
11:55 am – Transition to plenary room
12:05 pm – Lunch and plenary session
- Implementation Process: Mika Tari, New Mexico First Town Hall Implementation Chair
- Review Recommendations and Poll for Consensus
1:45 pm – Closing remarks: Michael Barndollar, New Mexico First Board Member
2:00 pm – Adjourn
Thank you to our Generous Sponsors!
Behavioral Health Town Hall slide presentations
- Behavioral Health Panel Discussion (created by Annabell Farmer)
- Stacy Burleson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women in Leadership, WIL
- Jodie Jepson (ABQ Street Connect/Heading Home Executive Director)
Speakers & presenters
The Honorable Martin Heinrich, U.S. Senator
Senator Heinrich was elected to Congress in 2009 and then the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Appropriations, Intelligence, and Joint Economic Committees. With a background in engineering, Senator Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, where he is focused on creating the jobs of the future and confronting the climate crisis.
The Honorable Ben Ray Lujan, U. S Senator
Senator Lujan has represented New Mexico in the United States Senate since January 2021. He previously served as U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s Third Congressional District and House Assistant Speaker in the 116th Congress. Senator Luján Senator grew up in Nambé, a small farming community north of Santa Fe, bordered by the Nambé and Pojoaque Pueblos.
Alicia Manzano – Emcee
Ms. Manzano has over two decades of experience working in both the public and private sectors. She is the Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Javier Martínez in the New Mexico Legislature. Prior to joining the House Majority Leader, she was the Mayor’s Liaison for Strategic Partnerships in the Keller administration, overseeing some of the highest profile projects for the City of Albuquerque. Alicia also worked in the private sector, as the Vice President of a Seattle-based public relations firm. Ms. Manzano’s background in policy and advocacy while working at New Mexico Voices for Children is what drove her to serving both at the City of Albuquerque and now at the New Mexico Legislature. Alicia worked for five years at New Mexico Voices for Children as outreach director, where she advocated for policies that positively impacted children and families across the state. Alicia believes that hearing diverse voices and working collaboratively with the community is the best way to create impactful public policy. Alicia is a life-long New Mexican and lives in the South Valley with her husband Daniel, daughter Aliana and beagle Jazzy.
Carlos Contreras – Virtual Emcee
A multi-media artist, Mr. Contreras is a long-time community servant and organizer. A poet, artist, father, educator, and student – Contreras was a member of the Kellogg Foundation’s Inaugural class of Community Leadership Network Fellows. Having served as the Director of Marketing for the City of Albuquerque and Mayor Tim Keller, Contreras is also a nationally awarded performance poet, published author, and featured visual artist in the Albuquerque Museum’s permanent collection “Common Ground” – his life’s work has centered around the creation of space and time for communities of all kinds.
Annabella Farmer – Panel moderator
An investigative reporter with Searchlight New Mexico, Ms. Farmer was born and raised in Santa Fe and came to investigative journalism while studying at the Institute of American Indian Arts and graduated from the writing program in May 2021. She worked with High Country News as an intern and contributed research support and consulting for the Polk Award-winning Land Grab Universities project. She has also written about education, sustainable land use, art, and sanitation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Maurico Tohen
Dr. Tohen is currently the Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences department. He is also a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UNM School of Medicine.
Nikka Peralta, LCSW
Ms. Peralta founded Mending Hearts, LLC in 2016 and has developed a passion for working with people through her own personal experiences and clinical expertise. A New Mexico native, she graduated from New Mexico Highlands University in 2012 with a masters degree in Clinical Social Work and enjoys working with adolescents, children and families.
Ms. Ruiz-Angel is a proud Chicana, born and raised in the border city of El Paso, Texas. She understands the needs of diverse communities and works to empower, educate, and advocate for all Burqueños. Prior to her appointment as Director of Albuquerque Community Ssafety, Ruiz-Angel developed and ran Albuquerque’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA). In her new role leading the third branch of public safety, Ruiz-Angel is working to ensure that the department follows through with its mission of advocating and promoting a holistic, empathic and informed public safety response to behavioral and mental-related calls for crisis. She brings to the City of Albuquerque an extensive background in the fields of education, business development, and corporate customer relations.
Ruiz-Angel holds a Master of Business Administration in Human Resources and a Master of Social Work in Leadership and Administration both obtained from the New Mexico Highlands University.
Mr. Martinez is the Executive Director, Equality New Mexico. Born in Alamogordo, Mr. Martinez is an organizer, and has been a political strategist for multiple candidates and organizations; from fighting climate change with the League of Conservation Voters to working for fair pay and safe working conditions with AFSCME, the public employees labor union.
Rio Rancho Mayor Greggory Hull
Mayor Hull was elected as mayor of Rio Rancho in April 2014 via a runoff election to a four-year term. He was re-elected in March 2018 to a four-year term. In March 2022, Hull was re-elected to his third, four-year term.
Ms. Burlison is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Women in Leadership (WIL), a non-profit for any woman impacted by the criminal justice system directly or indirectly. Stacy has been a Returned Citizen for 6 years, during which she became a certified mental health first aid instructor in both adult and youth, a certified peer support worker trainer, Narcan trainer, certified community health worker and a national trainer for the Gaines Institute on how being Trauma-informed improves Criminal Justice System Responses. Stacy serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors for the NM Black Mental Health Coalition. During her incarceration Stacy became a peer educator with Project ECHO which helped her develop the leadership and advocacy skills she would need for society after incarceration. Stacy also received the first ever contract given to a returning citizen. Stacy is a mother and a grandmother who is dedicated to inspiring women to believe in their abilities and providing support to women through their trying transition back into society by creating a safe space and small community.
ABQ Street Connect/Heading Home,ExecutiveDirector – Ms. Jepson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Exercise Physiology and Leisure Science with an emphasis in coaching in 2001 from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado. Since that time, she has dedicated her career to impacting the marginalized and forgotten populations in our society.
Michele Coleman, Ph.D, LMFT
The CEO of Attachment Healing Center, Dr. Coleman has worked in the field of foster care and adoption all her life, beginning with personal childhood experiences with informal foster care and formal adoption. These early experiences prepared her for work as a therapist in the field of attachment. As an adult, she has worked full-time as a business manager and has regularly volunteered with troubled youths who were living in group homes. As an adult, she adopted two sisters with emotional needs from the foster care system in Virginia, and then 14 years later she and her partner adopted a son with emotional needs from New Mexico.
At the age of 42, Dr. Coleman went back to school for her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO:
Robert Fullbright – Photographer
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions
New Mexico Mutual
Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Third Soul Events
New Mexico First Staff
Danielle Gonzales – Executive Director
Sharon Berman – Civic Engagement & Policy Manager
Theresa Cardenas – Civic Engagement & Policy Manager
Michelle E. Mirabal – Project Manager
Kenn Rodriguez – Admin & Communication Coordinator
New Mexico First Board of Directors
Marcus Mims – Board Chair
New Mexico First Town Hall Planning Committee
Michael Barndollar – Co Chair
Henry Brutus – Co Chair
Dr. Dale Alverson