Carnell Chosa

Doctoral student named New Mexico 'Luminaria'

By

Maureen Roen

Carnell Chosa, a doctoral student in justice and social inquiry in Arizona State University's School of Social Transformation and a member of Jemez Pueblo, has been named one of 10 New Mexico "Luminarias" for 2013 and is profiled in the Santa Fe New Mexican. The honor, bestowed by the New Mexico Community Foundation, recognizes individuals who have made or are making "a profound difference in their communities."

Chosa is co-founder and co-director of the Leadership Institute, housed at the Santa Fe Indian School. Established in 1997 with Regis Pecos of Cochiti Pueblo, the Leadership Institute has been a catalyst for addressing an array of public policy and tribal community issues in “think tank” style community institutes. Its wide-ranging programs have also focused on training tribal community members, especially youth, to be leaders in addressing public policy issues in order to create systemic change from within Native communities.

Chosa serves as well on the boards of the Chamiza Foundation, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the Wheelwright Museum and the Santa Fe Community Foundation Native American Advised Fund. 

At ASU, he is in his second year in the School of Social Transformation's Pueblo Indian Doctoral Project, a cohort of doctoral students in Justice and Social Inquiry who are leaders and professionals in their respective Pueblo communities and regions. The three-year program, established in partnership with the Leadership Institute, seeks to build capacity on pressing policy issues including land and cultural resources, law and education – particularly where underserved populations are concerned.

“Quiet change,” is how Chosa describes the work that he and his nine cohort members are doing in the doctoral program. “We call it quiet change because we don’t really put ourselves out there that much, except within our communities,” he told the Santa Fe New Mexican. While Chosa is honored to be a Luminaria, he says, "I feel like the work that I do, and the work that’s been done, was [done] by the entire community moving together.”

The Luminaria recipients will be honored at the New Mexico Community Foundation’s 30th anniversary event in December.

The School of Social Transformation is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.