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Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion



Celebrating Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

An NMCO Studio and Success Partnership Photo Project

Athena Huckaby

Public Health Professional

Athena Huckaby, MPH, is a devoted advocate for addiction recovery and homelessness, and animal welfare in our community. As a public health professional, she specializes in drug policy, harm reduction, academic detailing, and sex worker rights, making a substantial impact. With an extensive track record, she has founded, funded, and contributed to over a dozen initiatives and organizations that address critical issues in our community. She has raised $43,000 for the Grajeda-Huckaby Low Barrier Housing Fund, supporting individuals and families during addiction recovery. Collaborating with numerous organizations, Athena’s tireless efforts reflect her dedication to inclusive and compassionate advocacy.

Ryan Rox

Filmmaker / Artist Support Manager at Femme Frontera

Ryan Rox is a dedicated advocate for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities, serving as the Artist Support Manager at Femme Frontera. Through filmmaking, Ryan passionately shares queer stories from a queer perspective, contributing to job creation for LGBTQIA+ individuals. Ryan’s work goes beyond representation, aiming to bring awareness to the humanity of these communities and fostering empathy among those unfamiliar or misinformed. With a commitment to storytelling and activism, Ryan Rox plays a crucial role in amplifying voices, promoting inclusivity, and challenging stereotypes through the powerful medium of film. 

Iliana Perez

Home Visitor, Full Spectrum Indigenous Doula, and Indigenous Lactation Counselor

Iliana Perez advocates for low-income mothers and their young children. Her decade-long advocacy for Doula services and breastfeeding consultations showcases her enduring passion for supporting the community. Incorporating her training into home visits, she makes these vital supports accessible in the community. Often, providing these services at no cost outside of her job demonstrates her commitment to the well-being of families in need. Earning the Full Spectrum Indigenous Doula Certification, being a Reiki practitioner, and being an Independent Breastfeeding Consultant further highlight Iliana’s expertise and dedication to holistic care. Her work undoubtedly contributes to the betterment of Doña Ana. 

Lesley King-Steward

Southern Community Liaison (Mesilla Valley Hospital)

With two decades of invaluable experience at Mesilla Valley Hospital, Lesley King-Steward stands as the Southern New Mexico Community Liaison, passionately advocating for mental health access and destigmatization. Her commitment is evident in her unwavering dedication to helping individuals navigate crises and find the care they need. Lesley’s inclusive approach embraces youth and families across diverse backgrounds, championing a philosophy of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Her leadership is a bridge-builder within the community, fostering collaboration among partners to enhance access to services for people from all walks of life. Lesley’s impactful involvement extends to serving on the Board of the LC3 Behavioral Health Collaborative. 

Dulcinea Lara

Borderlands & Ethnic Studies Department Head, NMSU

Dr. Dulcinea Lara ardently advocates for empowering New Mexicans impacted by generational colonization. A trailblazer, she founded NMSU’s Borderlands and Ethnic Studies department, reshaping the curriculum for inclusivity. Grounded in cultural studies and critical race theory, her research explores Chicano history, identity formation, and spatial analysis. Currently, she is co-building a Decolonial Research Center in the Department of Borderlands and Ethnic Studies at NMSU. Dulcinea’s impactful contributions reflect her dedication to justice and representation. Committed to community partnerships, she tirelessly engages in improving education in the state. 

the team

Tina Ballew, Creative Director/Producer

Katrina Chandler, Assistant Creative Director

Yashoda Latkar, Featured Photographer

Michelle Simon, Assistant Photographer

Dana Apodaca, Art Director

Naomi Gomez, Makeup Artist

Maya Brayton, Stylist

Aaron Walterscheid, Videographer

Jonathan Tatum, Grip/Set Build

Bryndyn Gardner, Grip/Set Build

Sam Palm, Photography Consulting

Anna Kat Hollis, Web Developer

Jenna Dunlap, Production Assistant

Blanca Martinez, Production Assistant

Michelle Bautista, Production Assistant

Steph Preciado-Shelton, Production Assistant

Sommer Mitchell, Success Partnership/Producer

Michelle Simon, Success Partnership/Producer

Lori Martinez, Ngage/Producer