Partners engaged around the future of the Midtown District are guided by a deep belief that expressions of place will reveal the values and creativity inherent to Santa Fe residents, and in particular the communities adjacent to the Midtown Campus. These expressions will also reveal barriers—physical, financial, or otherwise—that historically have made it difficult to interact with the campus, or to feel a sense of welcome.
We acknowledge that much of Santa Fe’s history has been buried, from the stories of the first Indigenous and Euro-mestizo settlements, to the war of aggression that imposed a manifest American imperialism that led to dramatic losses for all those living in this land. As a result of American settlement and policies that emerged from preservation, urban planning, and tourism, so many groups have disproportionately experienced the effects of dispossession, disinvestment, and gentrification.
In spite of these losses, there is still querencia, a profound sense of ancestral rootedness, belonging and connection to this place. Yet, it remains vulnerable in the face of ongoing displacement. It is this querencia that will be a guidepost and a beacon to help define equitable redevelopment of the Midtown District.
In recognizing this querencia, we hold ourselves accountable to these values:
Culturally-sensitive community engagement
...creates an environment where transparency and mindfulness of our own impact, positionality, and perspective are integral to collaboration, curiosity, and co-creation of projects that are complicated, rich, and that best reflect the character of Santa Fe’s Midtown.
Open dialogue and active listening
...enables the space to hear, respond, and work together to address concerns that may arise around any ongoing projects. And while thoughtful community engagement takes time and commitment in order to build trust and reciprocal collaboration, we also respect the constraints of community members’ and team members’ schedules, as well as any personal boundaries.
We are the experts of our own lives
...and celebrate the expertise that lives within Santa Fe and in particular our Midtown communities, actively listening with an open heart to those authorities, scholars, storytellers, and wisdom holders whose front yards, garages, and kitchen tables have become lifelong spaces of barrio building.
...makes Culture Connects and UNM Design and Planning Assistance Projects around the Midtown Campus usable to community members who may lack cell phones, computers, Internet, or other forms of technology. When possible, this will include Spanish translation for Spanish speakers. Our
partnership aspires to model this ethics of accessibility for future engagement around the Midtown Campus and throughout Santa Fe.
Reciprocity not extraction
...is a call to never exploit our Indigenous, Black, and community members of color when asking them to share their personal experiences or knowledge of their neighborhood.
Creative place-based amplification
...means the full accessibility of these ideas of place to everyone who lives or works in Santa Fe and in particular within or around the Midtown Campus. In looking forward to the future of the Midtown Campus, these amplifications will only be the beginning of a long term and city-wide reflection that centers community voices in efforts to creatively and ethically redevelop our Santa Fe.