Unpeeling Racism

On April 23, 2015 community members organized a public panel discussion called “Unpeeling Racism.” The panel included 8 diverse participants, and over 130 community members attended.


“It’s time to show up and talk about RACISM. COMMUNITY ACCOUNTABILITY. PRIVILEGE.”


Hakim Bellamy facilitated an engaging discussion and presentation by a dynamic and multi-faceted panel of local community members and organizers to de-brief and break down systemic racism in the wake of the Christian Englander incidents of throwing banana peels at Dave Chappelle and Jay Wills.

We found that it was necessary for the community to come together to talk about the dynamics and lived-realities that are affecting our communities ALL THE TIME. The panel focused on building an understanding of structural racism and what it takes to strive for a critical, accountable, and anti-racist community. The panelists took questions from the audience.


Panel Members

Hakim Bellamy – moderator
Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque, NM (2012-2014), poet/educator/activist Hakim Bellamy is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion and has been published in numerous anthologies across the globe. Recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Ré Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist in 2007, and was awarded the Emerging Creative Bravos Award by Creative Albuquerque in 2013. Bellamy was named a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Fellow this year and awarded the Food Justice Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute.

Tonya Covington
Community Activist, Anti-Racism Trainer, Mediator, and Director of Conflict Resolution at Outcomes, Inc in Albuquerque. Tonya has been engaged in training, consulting and coaching on issues of diversity, equity & inclusion from Uzbekistan to Santa Fe for 3 decades. Tonya has expertise in Workplace, Transformative, Cross-cultural, Postal (REDRESS), Divorce and Elder mediation.

Brian Hardgroove
Touring musician, radio personality, writer, performer, and producer. Besides his other claims to fame, Brian Hardgroove has spun disks over the airwaves since 2006, and he currently creates, produces and hosts the program “History of the Groove” for Blu 102.9 (KLBU-FM) in Santa Fe.  In 2008, Hardgroove produced a remix of “Step It” on Burning Spear’s album Jah Is Real, which won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. Although he has produced music by extraordinary talents the likes of Chuck D (Public Enemy), Burning Spear, Marc Anthony, Supertramp, Fine Arts Militia, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), his most cherished work is the production of two of China’s premier punk rock bands, Demerit and Brain Failure, in 2007 and 2008. Hardgroove’s musical repertoire spans the genres of hip-hop, soul, R&B, rock and reggae. He is influenced by a variety of musicians, including The Police, Earth Wind & Fire, the Ohio Players, Sly Stone, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, among others.

Kiran Katira
Director at the Community Engagement Center at UNM with experience in facilitation, anti-racism workshops, and community engagement. Kiran Katira is an East-African, Asian-Indian woman, born in Kenya and raised in England. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Thought and Socio-Cultural Studies from the University of New Mexico. For the past seventeen years she has worked at the University of New Mexico’s Community Engagement Center, where she facilitates the growth and development of university students serving in community-based projects.  Kiran also teaches university courses, which focus on antiracist-education, community-based initiatives, and critical multicultural education.

Karen Recountre
Youth Allies Program Coordinator at Earth Care, activist, youth advocate. Karen was born in Rapid City South Dakota. She comes from a large family with a rich history with the land, culture, Native American activism, and change makers. She was inspired by her family’s story of surviving the Indian Boarding School Movement and the challenges they faced decolonizing and undoing internalized oppression. Karen is a queer Lakota Womyn, a youth advocate, and a working class gal. Karen is a socially engaged citizen with a fierce commitment to being a supportive adult ally to LGBTQI youth, youth of color, youth empowerment, social justice, and environmental justice. Karen is a student, a facilitator of change and brings a wealth of knowledge in activating youth and adults to move towards their vision of a healthy and just community.

Ivy Rizzo
Bilingual psychotherapist,#BlackLivesMatter activist, and mother in Albuquerque. Ivy is white and works to waken other whites to ending white supremacy. She is also works with activist burn out and trauma.

Michael Santillanes
Associate Director ad Santa Fe Youth Works. Michael received his Bachelor Arts at St. John’s College in 2003. Before working at YouthWorks, Michael was the Tutoring Coordinator for the Simon Scholar’s Program which provides highly competitive pre-college scholarships for low-income, high performing High School students, and was the Senior Tutor with the AVID – (Advanced Via Individual Determination) Program providing academic survival and college entry skills to first generation college students at local middle and high schools.

Patricia Trujillo
Dr. Patricia Trujillo is an associate professor of English and Chicana/o Studies at Northern New Mexico College, and the director of Equity and Diversity. She was born and raised in the Española Valley. She earned her Ph.D in U.S. Latina/o Literature at the University of Texas in San Antonio. While at UTSA, she was the assistant director of the Women’s Studies Institute, and has taught at the university level at University of Nebraska, UTSA, and Colorado State – Pueblo. Now back in Northern New Mexico, Dr. Trujillo balances her time teaching such courses as “Women, Food, and Literature,” “Major Court Cases in Chicana/o History,” and “Ethnic Literature for Children and Young Adults” with helping the institution work to address equity and access for all peoples who are traditionally underserved and underrepresented in higher education. Trujillo is dedicated to maintaining the land-based knowledge systems of northern New Mexico. She is currently working on an academic monograph, Gente-fication: The Classing of Northern New Mexican Literary Space, but she is most interested in community-based action research.

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington
Writer (poet, essayist) and journalist who writes on race, class, and poverty issues for The Progressive Media Project. Darryl is also a syndicated columnist who frequently writes on race, class, and poverty issues for The Progressive Media Project. His articles on race relations, civil rights history, Katrina and rebuilding New Orleans, grassroots movements and local activism, health, and nuclear energy have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic, Dissent, The Washington Post, New Politics, Crisis (The NAACP magazine) and the anthology, MFA vs NYC, edited by Chad Harbach. He also wrote an article “Blacks in Santa Fe” on Black Americans residing locally for the Santa Fe Reporter.