Anna Nelson, LISW, is the Executive Director of the New Mexico Forum for Youth in Community, a statewide network intermediary that supports the healthy development of youth throughout New Mexico by through promoting racial, health, academic and economic justice for all youth statewide, and an Adjunct Professor at New Mexico State University School of Social Work. Ms. Nelson received her master’s degree in Social Work in 2003 with honors from New Mexico Highlands University.
In 2010, Ms. Nelson became a Robert Wood Johnson Ladder to Leadership Fellow. She has served on the Board of Directors for Pegasus Legal Services for Children, and currently is an Executive Board Member of Safe Teen New Mexico and a National Advisory Board Member of Love is Not Abuse. Ms. Nelson was the first to create New Mexico’s gender-responsive behavioral health plan in 2006 and has championed New Mexico’s Teen Dating Violence Strategic Prevention Initiative guided by Positive Youth Development since 2007.
For her work in successfully reducing the rate of teen dating violence in New Mexico, Ms. Nelson was the recipient of the 2011 Patty Jennings and Polly Arango Citizen Advocacy Award. Anna was the recipient of the New Mexico Education Equity Alliance (NMEEA) 2012 Annual Fueling Increasingly Relevant Education (F.I.R.E) Award for her work in promoting social justice and equity in education,
Utilizing her expertise in gender-responsive, trauma-informed, and culturally relevant programmatic and systems development and in the topics of trauma and teen dating violence, Ms. Nelson has provided intensive training, technical assistance and consultation at the local, state and national levels since 2006.
Ms. Nelson has facilitated dynamic workshops at 9 national conferences, including the Futures Without Violence Biannual Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, National Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, and the Society on Adolescent Health and Medicine, and over 20 state and community conferences. She has provided expert testimony during the U.S. Attorney General Children Exposed to Violence Listening Session and the White House Round Table on Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault. Finally, in 2011 and 2012, Ms. Nelson acted as a national consultant to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Core II Sites, Futures Without Violence, the National Girls Institute and the National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute. At the state level, Ms. Nelson provides consultation to school-based and school-linked organizations supporting gender- responsive, culturally-relevant and trauma-informed approaches to service provision. An accomplishment about which Ms. Nelson is extremely proud is her consulting work with the Ruidoso School District, where she developed and promoted a model of trauma-informed schools to address the high prevalence of youth suicide.
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