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Understanding, Appreciating & Celebrating Juneteenth in New Mexico

Five people sit around a table in a studio set up with blue background screens. The group includes two men and three women, one of whom has a newspaper on the table in front of her.

This week, a group of New Mexico Black community leaders and elders tell us about the importance of celebrating Juneteenth. City Councilor Nichole Rogers talks about the International District being labeled a “pharmacy desert” — and how she plans to address residents’ pharmaceutical needs.

This week on New Mexico in Focus, I’m excited to share one of, if not my favorite panel discussions during my time with NMPBS. With the inspiration and guidance of both Albuquerque City Councilor Nichole Rogers and the city’s Culture Change Leader, Tim Green IV, we were able to record and share the perspectives of some of our state’s most influential Black leaders as they consider the importance of Juneteenth.

It was a privilege to not only meet but to speak with and learn from cultural icons Joe and Rita Powdrell, Professor Marsha K. Hardeman, Rev. Dr. Charles E. Becknell, Sr., and a guest I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with on the show before, Ron Wallace, publisher of The Perspective magazine. As a maker of public television, I consider myself lucky to be able to share my experience with our audience this week.

I will leave any attempt at imparting wisdom to our esteemed panelists. Instead, I’ll end by urging you to watch and receive each second of their knowledge with the same sense of intellectual curiosity and obligation they gracefully carry with them as community leaders.

Thank you.

-Lou DiVizio, Senior Producer, New Mexico in Focus