Making A Difference in New Mexico: My Partner Presentation with the Southwest Tribal Tobacco Coalition
Hello! My name is Rabiya Khadijah Kamran, and I am a senior at Arrowhead Park Early College High School in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I have been in Evolvement for about two years now, and this is my first year on the Leadership Team.
After I graduate high school, I plan on furthering my education throughout college and medical school. My goal is to become a neurologist in the far future. However, after graduation, I have decided that I would like to become a volunteer with No Minor Sale. A few weeks ago, I completed a virtual partner presentation with Adrianna Casaus, who is a fellow Evolver from Cuba, New Mexico. We had the opportunity to present to the Southwest Tribal Tobacco Coalition, which was an amazing and informative experience.
The Southwest Tribal Tobacco Coalition is an organization that works to enhance tribal efforts to address the use of commercial tobacco. The focus of our presentation to them was explaining what our campaign does/has done and eventually convince them to sign on with No Minor Sale as a partner, which we did achieve. The presentation was very exciting and the tribal coalition was amazing as well! I was really nervous before the presentation since I haven’t done one before, but the environment was super welcoming! They participated and contributed to our discussions about the use of commercial tobacco products and how it has increased among youth. A large portion of our conversation had to do with highlighting the fact that we are working on restricting the sale of commercial tobacco products to youth, which is particularly important to this group because we are not banning ceremonial or sacred tobacco, which is used in tribal communities. After the presentation, I felt really accomplished and I felt like we had a good conversation with different people about the importance of restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products.
After our presentation was over, the Southwest Tribal Tobacco Coalition agreed to sign on with the campaign as a partner, which is really exciting and gives us a lot of hope for the future of our campaign! I learned so much from this experience! I definitely brushed up on my public speaking and I learned how to not just present information but how to have real conversations about issues with tobacco. I also gained valuable insight about how the tribal communities feel about their youth using commercial tobacco products. By giving this presentation, I feel like my partner and I were both able to educate and convince them to be part of a statewide movement to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products. I hope that this convinces other similar organizations to join us as well on our mission to make change. One day, I hope that No Minor Sale will be able to make change for our entire state, and maybe encourage others to do the same.