CNM Partners with Local Nonprofits to Make Employee Face Masks
Nkazi Sinandile, the founder of New Mexico Women’s Global Pathways, and the co-founder of Immigrant and Refugee Resource Village of Albuquerque, sews masks.

CNM Partners with Local Nonprofits to Make Employee Face Masks

The masks are creating community jobs and helping keep CNM safe
July 02, 2020

Right now, all CNM staff and faculty who return to campus are issued disposable masks if they need one. But soon, CNM will also be offering employees custom, hand-sewn reusable masks made in partnership with the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP).

The SWOP project is called “Masks with a Purpose” and was devised to protect the community and create an economic opportunity for local women of color. SWOP has partnered with several organizations to sew the masks—New Mexico Women’s Global Pathways, Matron Records and Casa Fortaleza—and plans to create 4,200 for CNM and other local institutions. 

CNM’s masks will have a unique CNM design, but the other masks being sewn were designed by Eliza Lutz of Matron Records and have an image out front that says, “Don’t be silenced, be counted,” which is meant to boost involvement in the Census. That message will also be translated into other languages including Spanish, Tewa and Swahili.

SWOP masks

“We saw the opportunity to make the work of women visible through this project, the masks themselves, and by completing the census,” says Marisol Archuleta, CFO and organizer at SWOP.

So far the project has been wildly successful. It received $65,000 in funding from various sources including $7,700 in grassroots fundraising, $20,000 from mask purchases, and a number of grants from sources including the Albuquerque Community Foundation and the One Albuquerque Fund. 

“CNM is delighted to be partnering with SWOP,” says Angela Sims, the Executive Director of the Marketing and Communications Office at CNM. “Supporting our local community in this difficult time is integral to our Vision of Changing Lives, Building Community.” 

A photo of the CNM design that will appear on the college's masks.