Racial and Ethnic Equity2023-12-20T11:24:46-07:00

Racial & Ethnic Equity

Because we understand that racial disparities – which are often the unintended result of public policies and structures – overlay all of our issue areas, we consciously undertake efforts that neutralize racially inequitable impacts. Although race is a social construct with no scientific basis, personal biases and discriminatory practices have led to disparities along racial and ethnic lines. Just as wealthy families hand down their advantages to future generations, racial/ethnic disparities have impeded generation upon generation, and continue to do so.

Featured Content

Guaranteed Income: Increasing Employment and Helping Families Thrive

Research shows that when people are given unrestricted cash payments — sometimes called guaranteed income (GI) — they pursue better jobs, complete educational or vocational training, and create stability for their families. This report (available in English and Spanish) looks at how a GI pilot program for immigrant families in New Mexico improved outcomes for participating families.

Eligible but Excluded: How Systemic Inequities in Language Access are Impacting Asian, Pacific Islander, and African Immigrant and Refugee Communities During the Pandemic

A follow-up to our Essential but Excluded report, this looks at how Asian/Pacific Islander and African immigrants and refugees are unable to access public benefits for which they are eligible – and not just during the pandemic – due to a pervasive lack of language access at many state agencies. This, despite federal laws requiring such access.

Tax Policy: A Powerful Tool to Advance Racial Equity in New Mexico

Systemic racism isn’t accidental – it’s the result of public policies that benefit one group while disadvantaging others. Our state and national tax systems have been built to benefit those at the top (who are mostly white) while disadvantaging people of color. This report looks at concrete ways New Mexico can make our tax system more equitable.

Recent Publications

New Mexico has the Most-Improved Tax Fairness of Any State

February 6th, 2024|

Fact Sheet New Mexico now has the ninth most progressive tax system in the nation as ranked by ITEP’s recently updated Who Pays? report on tax incidence. That same report showed New Mexico as making the most progress toward tax fairness in the nation! This fact sheet explains why. (State-level data on effective tax rates by income group.)

2023 New Mexico KIDS COUNT Data Book

January 22nd, 2024|

NM KIDS COUNT Data Book Child well-being is slowly improving in New Mexico, thanks to investments by our lawmakers. This annual report provides data on numerous child well-being indicators related to economic security, education, health, and family and community, and includes policy solutions. New this year are indicators related to environmental health. (State-, county-, tribal- and school district-level data on child well-being.)

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Recent Blog Posts

Historic tax bill would create economic opportunity

March 9th, 2023|

Santa Fe New Mexican--New Mexico’s greatest asset is its cultural, ethnic and racial diversity. Our people are the heart of our state, and now, our Legislature is recognizing that in a big way. It’s not an exaggeration to say the tax omnibus bill currently under consideration (House Bill 547) does more to improve economic opportunity and equity in our tax code than any legislation in our state’s history.

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Recent News Coverage

New Mexico experimented with a basic income program that gave $500 a month to immigrant families. They used the money to pay rent and secure jobs.

May 29th, 2024|

Business Insider--"People use the money to feed themselves and to keep a roof over their head," Javier Rojo, senior research and policy analyst with New Mexico Voices for Children and author of the pilot report, told BI. "They use it very wisely to put themselves in a better position economically in the future."

Kids Count Data Book Focuses on Racial Equity

January 22nd, 2024|

Santa Fe Reporter--“One of the big policies that we’re excited about this year is particularly focused on Native American students and helping them to graduate, and that’s related to really making sure there is dedicated funding to support our Native students,” Wildau said. “We’re going to be really supportive of that.”

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Programs, Coalitions & Networks

Transform Education NM Formed in response to the hallmark Yazzie/Martinez v State of New Mexico lawsuit, TENM works to center student equity in our K-12 system and to ensure that our communities are leading the way to fundamentally reimagining and transforming our schools. Its platform advocates for a public education system that: embraces and incorporates the cultural and linguistic heritage of our diverse communities as a foundation for all learning; provides extended learning opportunities; values our teachers and educators; allows all children to access early learning programs; offers services such as counseling and health clinics to promote learning; and ensures our schools receive the financial resources required to meet the needs of all children.

Economic Relief Working Group A coalition of several grassroots and advocacy organizations – many of them focused on immigrant rights – ERWG was formed in 2020 initially to secure pandemic relief for those New Mexicans who did not qualify for federal relief due to their immigration status. ERWG worked on getting an accurate 2020 Census count for the state, and has also worked on wages, voting rights, tax credits and child care assistance, and currently runs a guarantied basic income (GBI) pilot project for families with mixed immigration status.

New Mexico Civic Engagement Table A project of the Center for Civic Policy, NMCET unifys more than 40 diverse organizations from different sectors around a common agenda to strengthen our democracy. Among its issues are economic justice, early childhood education, climate justice, immigration reform, and economic development.


We led an initiative called Race Matters in 2006 with funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The materials they developed for this work are still available on their website.

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