1-3 Dec. 2017. Dismantling the Nuclear Beast: Connecting Local Work to the National Movement

About Nuclear Issues Study Group

It is no secret that New Mexico has been and continues to be greatly impacted by every link of the nuclear fuel chain. The Nuclear Issues Study Group, founded in 2016, is a grassroots organization run entirely by volunteers and is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We meet regularly, and our membership comes from local New Mexico communities, including: organizers, young people, indigenous peoples, people of color, the LGBTQ community, students, artists, activists, and people who care about our water, lands, air, and public health. We work on several projects, as well as support local, statewide, and national campaigns to protect New Mexico from all things nuclear.

As part of this effort, we are organizing a symposium titled “Dismantling the Nuclear Beast: Connecting Local Work to the National Movement”. The symposium will take place Friday, December 1st through Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at the Hibben Center on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.

About the Symposium

From uranium mining and enrichment to weapons production and nuclear waste storage, we are quite literally in the “belly of the beast”. In order to make information accessible and to get others involved, we will have several presentations, panel discussions, and information tables focusing on all of these topics. We are inviting speakers from all over New Mexico and the country to share their stories, their work, and how we can take action to protect our environment and our communities!

We will kick off our symposium with a special collaboration between NISG and the New Mexico Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) on Friday afternoon. This opening workshop, dubbed “Environmental Justice: Nuclear Colonialism, Social Work, and Our Future in NM”, will provide an overview of the many nuclear sites in our state and make connections to the field of social work. Specifically, we will cover recent environmental justice issues specific to the misuse of water, natural resources, and sacred places, as well as the disproportionate occurrence of nuclear facilities in communities of color and lower socioeconomic status (SES). To wrap up this workshop, NASW NM will facilitate a discussion on the Social Work Code of Ethics, vulnerable populations, and paths to advocacy and action. If you are a social worker or student of social work, click here to register online with the NASW NM Chapter to obtain your continuing education units (CEUs).

During the symposium, we will do our best to explore and expose every aspect of the nuclear fuel chain—past, current, and future—as well as highlight some key threats to New Mexico that NISG is focusing on including: Sandia National Laboratories’ Mixed Waste Landfill and the proposed Centralized “Interim” Storage of high-level radioactive waste.

The purpose of our symposium is as follows:

  • To make information about nuclearism & nuclear colonialism accessible to the general public; this includes being intentional about avoiding the use of jargon, acronyms, and other forms of language (such as “Nukespeak”) that alienate rather than attract new people to the movement
  • To help bridge gaps of knowledge between the different aspects of the nuclear chain, specifically those who work on uranium mining issues and those who work on issues of nuclear waste, transportation, weapons, and power
  • To incorporate and have a solid space for Art, Music, Film, and Poetry in this movement
  • To unite and promote solidarity in our struggles by bringing communities together in New Mexico, right here, in the “belly of the beast”
  • To bring a new generation into the anti-nuclear movement
  • To equip attendees with tools to act on their increased knowledge about nuclearism & nuclear colonialism in positive, concrete ways and to get involved locally & nationally.

Support the Symposium

In order to make this event a success, we are calling on you and our extended community to make a monetary donation to assist with the expenses of our symposium. Our fundraising goal is $5,000.00 and costs include: venue rental, speaker fees, travel, food & beverages, printing, and professional services. We are determined to minimize the expenses for this event by garnishing in-kind services and other donations, but still have quite a bit of funds to raise.

Donate securely online directly to NISG via PayPal (credit, debit, PayPal).

You may also mail or hand carry your donation to the Indigenous Rights Center mailbox, located inside the Albuquerque Center for Peace & Justice (SE corner of Harvard & Silver).

Indigenous Rights Center
202 Harvard Dr SE #5
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Thank you for your support.

For More Information

Intersecting Issues and Our Community Activism (2016)

The following represents a partial list of the IRC’s activities in 2016.

Feb. 3, 2016 Albuquerque Indian Center Benefit
Feb. 6, 2016 Clemency Campaign Fundraiser (Host)
Feb. 13, 2016 Alcatraz Reunion, National Park Service, San Francisco, CA
Feb. 15, 2016 KIVA: Police Brutality/Lack Of Native Services
Feb. 20,2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
Feb. 23, 2016 KIVA: Police Brutality/Lack Of Native Services
Feb. 24, 2016 Transgender Resource Center – Table For IRC And Cloth Drive
Feb. 26, 2016 Movie Night At The IRC: “Navajo Boy” (Host)
Feb 27. 2016 National Student Day Of Action: Clemency For Peltier/Political Prisoners
Mar. 4, 2016 Community Forum: International Women’s Day
Mar. 5, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
Mar. 6, 2016 International Women’s Day Event
Mar. 12, 2016 Gold King Mine Spill Teach-In
Mar. 19, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
Mar. 21, 2016 KIVA Meeting
Mar. 23, 2016 Hope Alvarado (IRC) Speaks At Behavioral Health Crisis Panel/KIMO Theater
Mar. 30, 2016 Nava: Building Power, Get Out The Vote
Apr. 2, 2016 Justice For Loreal/Natives At Risk For Police Brutality
Apr. 3, 2016 University Of New Mexico (UNM) Seal/ KIVA – Abolish Racist Imagery Of The Current Seal
Apr. 4, 2016 KIVA: Police Brutality And Native Needs
Apr. 9, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
Apr. 11, 2016 KIVA: Support For Youth
Apr. 15, 2016 Outreach At New Mexico Fashion Week
Apr. 17, 2016 UNM Seal/KIVA
Apr. 18, 2016 Outreach At UNM Community Engage Fair
Apr. 22, 2016 Theater Of Oppressed (Host)
Apr. 29, 2016 Reception For Native Artist Gregg Deal (Host)
Apr. 30, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
May 1, 2016 Pow Wow At Nizhoni Days- UNM
May 5, 2016 UNM Seal/KIVA
May 14, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
May 21, 2016 NM Incarcerated Youth – Canvas With Info And Hosted Speakers On Topic
May 22, 2016 COPINH Event – Update On Situation In Honduras; The Assassination Of Human Rights Defender Berta Caceras (Host)
May 27, 2016 Movie Night At The IRC: “Nuclear Savage” (Host)
Jun. 4, 2016 Clemency Planning Meeting
Jun. 11, 2016 Albuquerque Pride
Jun. 12, 2016 Nuclear Issue Study Group (Host)
Jun. 16, 2016 UNM Seal
Jun. 18, 2016 Guns To Garden Tools
Jun. 29, 2016 Teachers Of Oaxaca Project (Host)
Jul. 3, 2016 Nuclear Issue Study Group (Host)
Jul. 6, 2016 Feeding The Homeless And Solutions
Jul. 8, 2016 Contra Santolina – Municipal Water Plan Information Meeting
Jul. 9, 2106 Clemency Planning Meeting
Jul. 10, 2016 Nuclear Issue Study Group
Jul. 22, 2016 Movie Night At The IRC: “Tattoo On My Heart” (Host)
Aug. 4, 2016 Food Sovereignty
Aug. 13, 2016 The Red Nation Liberation Conference
Aug. 26, 2016 School Reform/Teacher Resistance
Sep. 3, 2016 Gold King Mine Spill
Sep. 23, 2016 Movie Night At The IRC: “Wounded Knee: A Tattoo On My Heart” (Host)
Oct. 11-14, 2016 National Congress Of American Indians Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ
Oct. 11, 2016 Indigenous Peoples Day, Albuquerque, NM
Oct. 11, 2016 Indigenous Peoples Day, Phoenix, AZ
Oct. 13, 2016 Conversation with Venezuelan organizers María Gabriela Pilar del Blanco and Paola Martucci Gómez, Sex and Gender Diversity Revolutionary Alliance (Host)
Dec. 7, 2016 Press conference on “Indigenous Rights and Clemency for Leonard Peltier,” National Press Club, Washington, DC (2016 Human Rights Week, Host)
Dec. 9, 2016 “Indigenous Rights and Environmental Issues: Problems and Solutions” at George Washington University, Washington, DC (2016 Human Rights Week, Host)
Dec. 10, 2016 Conference on “U.S. Prisons: Conditions of Confinement” at the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC (2016 Human Rights Week, Host)

Indigenous Perspectives

In conjunction with the University of New Mexico Community Engagement Center (UNMSC), the IRC will host a workshop on Indigenous Perspectives on Friday, 20 November 2015, 3:00-6:00 p.m.

The UNMSC program offers professional development opportunities through monthly workshops, fall and spring semester credit-bearing classes, quarterly trainings, and annual symposium events. These opportunities center on main program areas; Community Health Justice, Educational Justice, and Racial and Economic Justice. All of these program areas are infused with an anti-racism lens which allows students to expand their understanding of the historical, systemic and interpersonal racial dynamics that impact and construct these topics. The purpose of the professional development is to provide Corps members with the knowledge, perspective and skills to work within under-resourced communities of color. The professional development model is based on Paulo Freire’s Praxis model which involves knowledge, action, and reflection. All professional development sessions are engaging, hands on and educational.

Connecting Indigenous Struggles and the Black Lives Matter Movement

The Indigenous Rights Center hosted a community dialogue called: “Connecting Indigenous Struggles and the Black Lives Matter Movement” on Aug 7, 2015. Indigenous rights activist Aureliano Molina and three activists with the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter discussed the state of African and Indigenous resistance in the Americas, especially in Molina’s home of Honduras.

Molina is an organizer with the Civic Council of Indigenous and Popular Organizations of Honduras (COPINH). His organization is 22 years old and works directly with the Lenca indigenous peoples and the eight other indigenous nations in Honduras, including the Garifuna, an Afro-Indigenous nation. COPINHorganizes in 200+ communities for territorial and ancestral rights. They have fought against Canadian mining companies, hydroelectric dam projects, and U.S. military base construction on their ancestral lands. Molina is part of COPINH’s executive council.

The group is part of a delegation to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize to exchange with Black and Indigenous communities organizing for autonomy and self-determination. They shared testimonies of their exchanges with African and Indigenous communities in Central America resisting imperialism and genocide, and their connection to local Black and Brown resistance.

Sayrah Namaste, a volunteer with the Indigenous Rights Center, met Todd Griffin of the Black Lives Matter Los Angeles chapter during a sunrise ceremony and blessing at La Plazita Institute in Albuquerque. They talked about the connection between indigenous struggles and the Black Lives Matter movement, and Todd asked if he could return to Albuquerque with Molina, who was heading home the following week. Sayrah asked the Indigenous Rights Center to host this historic conversation and (Un)Occupy Albuquerque offered to help with a potluck dinner before the event. Amalia Montoya, a Native American activist with (Un)Occupy Abq facilitated the dialogue. The turnout was far greater than expected since the event was organized on short notice, with more than 30 people participating. The Indigenous Rights Center was a great partner in this important event.


Hello and Welcome to the IRC

The Indigenous Rights Center is a charitable, religious and educational organization.  Our purpose is to promote the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, and preserve and defend the rights and civil liberties of all Native Americans.

Indigenous Rights Center
1421 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106