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LANL Foundation  /  News & Events  /  News  /  New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund Makes Six Grants Supporting Broadband Access Across Ne…

New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund Makes Six Grants Supporting Broadband Access Across Ne…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2022

Contact: 
JoAnn Melchor
New Mexico Foundation
505.356.4110

Santa Fe, NM – July 27, 2022 The New Mexico Broadband Collective, in partnership with the New Mexico Foundation and Groundworks New Mexico, awarded inaugural grants to six entities through its New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund.  The Collective created the Fund and raised $355,000 to allocate to nonprofits, counties, and Tribes, Nations, and Pueblos to support broadband equity in our hardest-to-connect communities in New Mexico.  Grantees will use the funding to develop solutions that will work best for them to support reliable and affordable broadband and to enable them to compete for the unprecedented federal and state broadband funding now becoming available. The competitive grants were selected by  a grantmaking committee of community volunteers and funded  by multiple local, regional, and national sources

“Having the ability to stay connected online in an ever-increasing digital world is vital,” said Senator Ben Ray Luján. “These grants from the New Mexico Broadband Collective, many of which are going to Tribal, rural, and communities of color, will help bring us closer to our goal of 100% connectivity in New Mexico. I look forward to seeing all of the good that is going to come from these investments in our internet infrastructure and to continuing to push for broadband equity for all.”

“The New Mexico Foundation is proud to host the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund and work with our Tribal, state, and philanthropic partners to help ensure Broadband access and resources are available to communities throughout New Mexico. Broadband access can be life changing for those in the hardest-to-connect communities. Since March 2021, the Broadband Collective has met on a monthly basis to plan and fundraise. It is exciting to see these plans come to fruition and award grants to these wonderful organizations.” said JoAnn Melchor, President and CEO of the New Mexico Foundation. 

Approximately 196,000 homes and businesses do not have broadband which prevents them from accessing employment, healthcare, education, and other opportunities. To address this, the following six organizations were awarded Broadband Equity Fund grants to work in their own local communities:

  • Colores United (Luna County)
  • Picuris Pueblo (Taos County)
  • True Kids 1 (Taos County)
  • Pueblo of Cochiti (Sandoval County)
  • Pueblo of Laguna Utility Authority (Cibola County)
  • Yee Ha’oolniidoo (San Juan and McKinley Counties)

A complete description of the six Broadband Equity Fund projects and organizations can be found here: https://www.newmexicofoundation.org/new-mexico-broadband-collective-fund/

“The lack of access to high-speed affordable broadband has disadvantaged New Mexico families for far too long,” said Kimball Sekaquaptewa, Chief Technology Director at the Santa Fe Indian School and Co-Chair of the Broadband Collective. “Today, I am honored to be part of a social sector response to uplift community solutions as we take care of our own in New Mexico.”

Key partners in developing the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund include the New Mexico Foundation, Groundworks New Mexico, the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Foundation, and the Community Learning Network. Participating funders include the LANL Foundation, the Microsoft Corporation in partnership with Purdue University, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Con Alma Health Foundation, the New Mexico Foundation’s Vecinos Fund, the First National Bank Texas, Wells Fargo, and individual donors. 

“I want to thank each of the philanthropic, corporate, and banking partners and the individual donors who made the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund a reality,” said Alvin Warren, Vice President of Career Pathways and Advocacy at the LANL Foundation and Co-Chair of the Broadband Collective. “Because of you, these non-profit and tribal efforts, students and families will have greater access to educational and health opportunities and benefit from participation in the greater global digital economy.”

The New Mexico Foundation, in partnership with the Broadband Collective, continues to raise more funds to support organizations developing community-based solutions for Broadband Equity. Those interested in making direct contributions to the New Mexico Broadband Equity Fund can learn more by visiting https://www.newmexicofoundation.org/new-mexico-broadband-collective-fund/

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About the New Mexico Broadband Collective 

The New Mexico Broadband Collective was established in March, 2021 to support a statewide approach to ensuring broadband services for all New Mexicans, especially in our rural communities, Native communities, and other “hard-to-connect” communities most impacted by the lack of broadband connectivity. With backbone support from Groundworks New Mexico, the Collective is managed by a steering committee and includes representation from foundations, nonprofits, government, and private providers. Its workgroups are working to: provide funding and technical assistance to support community and regional efforts; support the equitable and effective use of technology; engage in advocacy and coordinate with federal and state broadband resources and opportunities.

About the New Mexico Foundation 

The mission of the New Mexico Foundation is to steward resources, build partnerships, and create opportunities that transform lives and communities throughout New Mexico. The Foundation pools resources to support New Mexico’s most underserved communities, strengthens New Mexico’s nonprofits and grow philanthropy, especially in rural New Mexico. It also connects donors to valuable projects and vulnerable communities, as well as work to be responsive to current, and often urgent, community needs. 

For more information visit: https://nmcf.org/