SPOTLIGHT ON COMMUNITY
Native American Community Academy (NACA)
In 2006, the Native American Community Academy (NACA) launched as a community-led school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is the first urban charter school specifically focused on increasing the number of Native American students who choose the path of college—many as the first person in their family to do so. NACA is the flagship school of the Native Inspired Schools Network, which is comprised of schools providing rigorous academic curriculum aimed at college preparation while also promoting Indigenous culture, identity, and community investment.
In April 2018, NACA was selected as an MBK Impact Community as part of the MBK Community Challenge Competition.
In partnership with the City of Albuquerque, three high schools, and four nonprofit organizations, NACA has spent this past year deepening and scaling a community of practice for social and emotional learning.
We recognize that young people are not just leaders of the future, but they can and should be leaders now. Their voices deserve to be listened to.”
—Maȟpíya Black Elk, Lakota & Xicano Mestizo Community Impact Leader, My Brothers Keeper Albuquerque, NACA Inspired Schools Network
NACA’s work began with several charter schools in and around Albuquerque to shape a working definition of social and emotional learning to include the culturally-relevant approach of holistic wellness and the importance of identity development for young people. By convening educators and school leaders, NACA has been able to see its work in action, share success stories and challenges, and examine data.
With the support of MBK Alliance, NACA has expanded that community of practice to include civic-minded community organizations and to center the work around boys and young men of color. Together, with a racial and gender equity approach, NACA is working to increase opportunities and remove barriers in Albuquerque in order to support young peoples’ ability to thrive in school and beyond. Click here to learn more about NACA.