Grow With MLP's Ecosystem
New Mexico had one of our longest droughts in 2014. In fact, January was the driest our state had ever been since 1895. In Albuquerque alone we had no rain or snow for 43 days. The impact was visible and tangible—dry land, no snow-covered mountains, and a low Rio Grande. It stayed dry for months. Then, in the summer, we received record-breaking rainfall. Within weeks we saw plants suddenly growing and others we didn’t even know we had were blooming across the state. The land that we’d come to expect as varying tones of brown surprised us by turning various shades of green, and on a drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe in August, MLP staff members witnessed more horses running, playing, and eating along the hills than we had ever seen before.
This New Mexico ecosystem is precious to us. Our state has a long history of fighting for resources—for land, water, and clean air. We understand that in order for us to thrive, a functioning and resourced ecosystem is non-negotiable. At MLP, we feel the same way about the non-profit ecosystem. We believe that non-profits do well when the system that we are part of is also doing well, and we wanted to reflect that back to our community. Over the past few months we have partnered with local artist Gigi Archibeque from Luna Sirena Designs to bring to life what we are calling our “MLP ecosystem.” Created in a staff planning session in the spring, our ecosystem is a visual representation of MLP’s connected, deliberate, and yet, organic process of how, and why, we do what we do every day.
Now, we are sharing it here with you! As you enjoy the image you will notice where MLP fits in. The sun contains our vision—it is our guiding force that provides sustenance and light to our ecosystem. The air contains our belief statement. While not visible, it offers the oxygen that helps our organization breathe. Our mission is the earth itself—it is the foundation of our organization, and from our mission grows our curricula, campaigns, and programs. This process is referenced in the tree that symbolizes our theory of change. Rooted in our mission, we deconstruct media to sow tools and actionable pathways that blossom into engaged media justice advocates and critical media consumers. The Rio Grande—a river of funding and other resources—provides us the water our organization needs to stay healthy and alive.
New Mexico is a survivor. We have lived through droughts and we know what it means to be under-resourced. We also have a real understanding of what we can do, what we can grow, and of what is possible. We know that if we plant a tree and can’t water it, it won’t thrive. It’s really that simple. Help us by helping Media Literacy Project keep our river flowing, and our campaigns and programs growing.