Empowering Change: Addressing Key Women’s Issues Through Collaborative Lawmaking and Funding

CSW Women’s Summit 2023 | Bear Conference Room 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

This panel discussion will center on social activists sharing insights from previous collaborations among stakeholder groups and their implications. We will explore how these lessons can be applied to fresh collaborations addressing critical areas affecting women in our state: reproductive access, affordable childcare, and responses to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Moderator: Maryann Ustick

Maryann Ustick, Treasurer, New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women

Until recently, Maryann Ustick was the city manager of Gallup, New Mexico. She joined the city after managing Destin, Florida. Maryann previously served as the North Las Vegas acting city manager and assistant city manager where she oversaw the departments of Economic Development, Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Zoning and Utilities. She has also worked in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Pensacola, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona.

Maryann holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and dual master degrees in history and public administration from Old Dominion University. She is also a credentialed city manager and member of the International City/County Management Association Maryann Ustick, entire career working in government and current City Manager for the City of Gallup, married mother of two, grandmother of four, big proponent of women in government (I-Gallup).

Maryann Ustick head shot photo


Rebecca Baran-Rees, Vice President for Policy and Community Development, Growing Up New Mexico
Rebecca Baran-Rees is the Vice President for Policy and Community Development at Growing Up New Mexico, with over 15 years’ experience in policy advocacy on issues including housing, food access, prison reform and early childhood. Ms. Baran-Rees has also previously served as the Director of Policy and Communications at Growing Up NM, supporting state-wide collaborations and initiatives focused on child care and early childhood systems in New Mexico. She holds a BA in Political & Economic Development from UC Berkeley, and a MRP in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Rebecca Baran-Rees is the Vice President for Policy and Community Development

Dr. Connie Liu, OBGYN from Gallop Indian Medical Center

Dr. Connie Liu is a generalist ob/gyn working in rural western New Mexico, in Gallup. She is a community organizer, fighting for rural health access, abortion and reproductive justice issues. She is a founding member of the Community Health Action Group, which has worked to bring attention to issues related to her county’s only community hospital, Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. She believes in the grass-root strength of stories and data to effect change. She also is a abortion and reproductive justice advocate, and served as a Fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. Dr. Liu’s background includes a PhD in health services research.

Leigh Ana Eugene, Commission on the Status of Women / DV & SA Expert

Leigh Ana Eugene, decade long social justice advocate, served victims of crime and their families on the Eastern side of New Mexico as the director of a rape crisis center and child advocacy center. Currently supporting military service members and their families heading up the social resilience pillar of an integrated resilience team. Wife, mother, daughter, with the deepest passion for change and inclusion (R-Clovis).

Leigh Ana Eugene head shot photo

Denise Terrazas, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs at the New Mexico Public Education Department

Over the last 10 years, Denise Terrazas has had the honor and privilege to serve New Mexico’s students and educators in a few different capacities — as a policy analyst for the Department and the Legislative Education Study Committee, as well as an elementary school teacher at Chaparral Elementary School in the Gadsden Independent School District. Denise’s favorite part of her work is getting to work with education stakeholders across the state to help inform education law, regulation, and policy.