It’s also a very rural state, with far too many New Mexicans lacking access to basic services like healthcare, internet, or even clean water. Unfortunately, this is the reality in many communities of color because, for centuries, these communities have been neglected, discriminated against, and left behind.
This is why the novel coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on Black and brown people. Check out the data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project.
One of the hardest hit communities is here in the southwest is the Navajo Nation, which encompasses over 27,000 square-miles of land in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Coronavirus cases started to rise in the Navajo Nation in April. By mid May, the Navajo Nation had surpassed New York for the highest per-capita infection rate in the U.S.
Meow Wolf knew we had to step up and do more for our neighbors.
As a manufacturing site, Meow Wolf had a small stock of safety gear on hand. Our teams quickly assessed our stock, and determined that we could donate some KN95 masks and gloves to those most in need.
On May 15, we sent our supplies to the Navajo Nation with local pilot Josh Payne. This was our first round of support and consisted of:
Josh is working with a group of community leaders - Make Santa Fe, University of New Mexico, Southwest Research and Information Center - who are organizing weekly flights and trucks of supplies out to Navajo Nation. This group is essential to help get supplies out to rural parts of the Navajo Nation and we are grateful for their partnership in this effort.
But we weren’t done yet, and had more to give.
Meow Wolf’s team has about 250 employees, with the majority located in Santa Fe. We determined that supporting the indigenous community on the Navajo Nation aligned with our community engagement priorities, and quickly mobilized our team to do a staff supplies and donation drive.
As of June 1, Meow Wolf’s staff donation and supplies drive has:
Our second round of critical supplies went to the Navajo Nation in mid June, thanks to our partners at the University of New Mexico.
Meow Wolf will continue to support organizations who work with underserved communities, but this is not enough - we commit to anti-racism practices in our community engagement efforts to prioritize and elevate the needs and work of Black, Indigenous and brown communities.
We hope you will join us by donating to the Navajo Nation Relief Fund here.