Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color Cohort to Kick Off the Opening Ceremony at the New Mexico United Soccer Game this Weekend 

For Immediate Release

For more information contact 

Jessica Helen Lopez 


Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color Cohort to Kick Off the Opening Ceremony at the New Mexico United Soccer Game this Weekend 

Albuquerque Group is an Obama Foundation My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Impact Award Winner for its efforts to support young men and boys of color in the Albuquerque community.

Albuquerque, NM. On Sunday, September 1, 2019, an Albuquerque Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) Alliance will kick off the New Mexico United soccer game at Isotopes Park by running the home team's flag during the opening ceremony of the game. 

At 4 pm, the group, comprised of BYMOC from the Native American Community Academy, La Plazita Institute, NM Dream Team, Cultivating Coders, Together for Brothers and their partners from the City of Albuquerque will run the NM United flag across the field in a show of community support, youth advocacy and leadership, celebration of intersectional cultural identities, and their ongoing commitment to restorative justice practices that work to uplift their neighborhoods. 

In the Fall of 2018, the NACA Inspired Schools Network was awarded the prestigious Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Impact Award. One of nineteen organizations across ten states, including Puerto Rico, NACA Inspired Schools Network (NISN), ABQ Community Partners, and the City of Albuquerque, Office of the Mayor, were recognized by MBKA as a national model committed to reducing youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color. 

The Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3), via their programming for, “Native Youth on the Move,” in conjunction with Nike and Seven (N7), invited the Albuquerque BYMOC to attend and conduct the opening ceremonial flag run. This is the 11th cohort of non-profit organizations which NB3 has funded to attend the NM United home games and kick off the match. 

NB3 Community Organizer, Leroy “Buster” Silva (Laguna Pueblo) says, “The ceremonial flag run is about prayer, physical health and mental wellness. It is done in the spirit of movement. We know that the health of our Indigenous and people of color communities begins with our kids. Our health is our wealth.” 

NISN’s newly appointed Community Director (a position funded by the MBKA Impact Award) and former Lead “Uncle” of the NACA Hiyupo Boys Alliance, Mahpiya Black Elk says, “MBKA work is necessary because too often our boys and young men of color are pushed aside and forgotten. High dropout rates and over-incarceration affect them and our communities. The soccer game is a fun way for our partners to come together and build community and promote systemic change to support our BYMOC. Our young men want to reshape the ways our city thinks of them and the way they visualize themselves as community leaders.” 

New Mexico United, the state’s professional soccer franchise, articulates a mission statement that conveys a passion for community and provides a platform that brings New Mexicans together for a unique sporting experience, celebrating the unity and excitement inherent in world-class soccer. NM United will compete against the Orange County Soccer Club this Sunday, September 1, 2019 at the Isotopes Field (1601 Avenida Cesar Chavez SE, 87106) at 4 pm. For more information about NISN, please email Also visit, and


My Brother’s Keeper was not about me, it was not about my presidency… It’s about all of us working together. Because ensuring that our young people can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them is the single most important task that we have as a nation.” -- President Barack Obama

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Our community partners are listed here: 

My Brother’s Keeper ABQ,