Category Archives: episode

LGBTQ Youth in New Mexico

What are the challenges facing youth and young adults in New Mexico who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer?

Thursday, January 31 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

What are the challenges facing youth and young adults in New Mexico who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or queer?

Nationally, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning) youth are more likely to face verbal and physical harassment at school. They are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, suicide attempts, and suicide. Many face discrimination in their own families and may even end up on the streets.

On the next Public Square, young people in New Mexico’s LGBTQ community share their experiences. And we talk with advocates and community leaders about what we need to do to improve the lives of LGBTQ New Mexicans. In the second half of the program State Senator Cisco McSorley and Peter Simonson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, join the discussion.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

[My parents] said “Pack your bags and go. If you want to live like this you can’t be here at all.”
–Jessica Muellers, transgendered youth activist

“Coming out process was a big period of self-hatred and I even contemplated taking my own life at one point because I felt there must have been a demon in me, there must have been something wrong with me.”
–Quela, UNM, LGBTQ Resource Center

“Because I was in a leadership role in other parts of the school they saw I was straight and I was standing up for my friends, so we started hearing a lot less of “That’s so gay.” It has a big, big effect.”
–Ashley Allers

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Preventing Child Abuse

The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger.

Thursday, December 27 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

How can New Mexico combat child abuse? The state had more than 6,500 victims of child abuse and neglect last year and almost half of those victims were 5 years old or younger. The child injury death rate in the state is 1.5 times higher than the national average. In most cases, biological parents caused those deaths.

Yet, experts say child abuse is totally preventable. In this month’s Public Square, we talk with doctors, advocates, home visitors and law enforcement about what it would take to make that a reality.

Community leaders include State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, Yolanda A. Berumen-Deines, secretary of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, and Jared Rounsville, protective services director for Children, Youth and Families Department.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“If there was anything else in our health system so glaring we would have a cure, but we don’t for child abuse.”
–Angie Vachio, Child and family advocate

“In this state we spend $135 million after the event and $3 million on prevention. That should be turned around.”
–Dr. Susan Miller, Director, New Mexico Child Abuse Prevention Program

“This is about giving children who don’t have a voice opportunity, and then we all benefit. We all live in a better place if our children are better off.”
–Kim Straus, Brindle Foundation

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Special Needs Education

Some 45,000 students in New Mexico schools have disabilities or special needs. One in ten students at Albuquerque Public Schools receives special education services.

Thursday, October 25 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

Some 45,000 students in New Mexico schools have disabilities or special needs. One in ten students at Albuquerque Public Schools receives special education services.

They lag behind their peers in graduation rates and in reading and math proficiencies. Many families struggle to make sure their children receive the education they need to be successful and lead independent lives.

In this episode, parents and teachers meet with NM Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Representative Jim Smith, and Suzanne Starr, principal of Shining Stars School in Rio Rancho. In a candid and thoughtful conversation, they explore solutions to improving the outcomes for special needs students.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“We focus so much on the disability we forget that these children also have an identity.”
— Ronalda Tome

“It was a tremendous shock to us that the school didn’t plan to educate our son.”
— Stephanie Varoz

“It was quite a surprise, as a parent, that not everybody shared my views. This child had incredible potential to be an incredible adult, and yet was sort of marginalized down to her disability.” — Katie Stone

“I recognize she has all these problems, but you know what? When we raise the bar, she meets it every time.” — Caroline Enos

Guests Include:
Community Panel:

• Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, Secretary of Education, Emeritus
• Pete Ciurczak, Dean of Students, Robert F. Kennedy Charter School
• Caroline Starita Enos, Mother of Two
• Paula Garcia, Special Education Teacher, M.A.
• Kevin Kirby, Social Studies Teacher, Bernalillo Middle School
• Sandra Moore, Mother of Twice Exceptional Student
• Katie Stone, Parent & Advocate
• Stephanie Varoz, Parent Advocate
• Ronalda Warito-Tome, Training Specialist & Advocate, EPICS (Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs)

Leadership Panel:
• Suzanne Harper, Principal, Shining Stars Preschool
• Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, Title: State Senator
• Rep. Jim Smith, Teacher & State Representative

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Preventing Family Homelessness

Thursday, September 27  at  7 p.m. on Ch.  5.1

Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in New Mexico. The state is struggling to emerge from the recession that began four years ago with the financial meltdown and housing crisis. That is having a direct impact on its youngest citizens.

More than 16,000 children in New Mexico are homeless over the course of a year. They suffer from hunger and poor physical and emotional health. The stress and trauma of being homeless can significantly hurt their ability to learn and often has long-lasting impacts.

In this month’s Public Square, we talk with parents who have experienced homelessness, as well as shelter providers and advocates. And we’ll explore steps we can take to make sure more families can find secure housing.

Community leaders include Tim Keller and John Ryan, New Mexico State Senators, and Robin Dozier Otten, director of City of Albuquerque’s Family and Community Services Department.

Join us for Public Square where civic dialogue takes center stage Thursday September 27  at 7 pm. on New Mexico PBS 5.1 and Sunday, October 1, at 5:00 pm New Mexico PBS 9.1.

Quotes from Public Square participants:

“If we spend these dollars on programs we know work, we can end homelessness for people in our community.”
Lisa Huval
Policy Director, New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness

“We have nurses, we have teachers who are homeless. The face of homelessness hasn’t really changed. I think it’s just revealing itself in a more clear way.”
Michael Gaylor
Executive Director, Barrett Foundation

“I wake up every day and say ‘Did I really have five kids? Really? What was I thinking’”
Stephanie Paz
Former homeless mother

“Most of us are probably three to four months from homelessness.”
Diana Dorn-Jones
Executive Director, United South Broadway

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.