Reconstituting Youth Space in New Mexico: The Space Youth Occupy. Education Policy. Clarity.

  • Bernadette Trujillo Ellis Education Consultant and Community Advocate
  • Patricia Trujillo Northern New Mexico College
  • Patricia Anne Davis Education Consultant and Community Advocate
Keywords: youth space; minoritized; political consciousness; remedies; retrenchment; critical consciousness and praxis


Because of the funding decisions being made in New Mexico related to public education, working as an educator has become physically, psychically, and spiritually demanding for the lead author, Trujillo Ellis. The lead author seeks clarity in understanding New Mexico youth space, or the conditions of New Mexico youths’ lives, that better equips her, as a reflective practitioner, to “make decisions about teaching and learning based upon moral and political implications” (Olan, 2019, p. 173). New Mexican youth space is contextualized in terms of demographics, outcomes related to well-being, the fiscal landscape of the state, and the policies that govern public education. The lead author utilizes the first four tenets of critical race theory (CRT): 1) Racism is normal, 2) Interest convergence or material determinism, 3) Social construction of race, and 4)Intersectionality and anti-essentialism to support reflection and analysis of her experiences as an educator and instructional coach within the educational system in New Mexico. Co-authors, Trujillo and Davis, provide counter-narratives through the final tenet, 5) Unique voice of color, related to their work with vulnerable youth in New Mexico. Conclusions drawn provide clarity and insight that support the lead author in making decisions related to teaching and learning, as well as indicating efforts that broaden critical consciousness and praxis to support positive change.