The Bernalillo County Animal Care and Resource Center is overflowing with over 100 rabbits who are in need of loving homes.

Candace Sanchez, the center’s outreach manager, said it all started with a complaint they received about rabbits spotted in the road in the South Valley area. 

“Upon arrival, we found that a homeowner ... was housing multiple rabbits in a small contained outdoor area,” Sanchez said. “Once we started going into the facility, we realized that what ended up happening was the owner initially purchased the rabbits as pets, and they were not spayed and neutered. So as time progressed on, multiplication started taking place.”

Though ASUNM Student Special Events has been forced to adapt to virtual concerts to “protect the pack” amid the pandemic, the featured artist didn’t disappoint on Feb. 12 as UMI showcased live acoustic music and guided meditation over Zoom.

Tierra Umi Wilson, also known as UMI, is a 22-year-old singer/songwriter based out of Los Angeles who made a name for herself when she toured with fellow artist Cuco back in 2019. Her virtual concert on Feb. 12 was only available to University of New Mexico students, and about 100 students attended.

According to Joe Polack, the executive director of SSE, the idea for the event stemmed from UMI’s previous shows that included meditation alongside a live performance.

Imagine this, if you will: You’re over at a friend’s house, and they ask “green or black tea?” You pick green, but to your horror, you hear the kettle boiling and a few minutes later, you spend the next half hour sipping profanely bitter liquid and feigning enjoyment.

If you’re the friend in this scenario, don’t feel bad. I sat down with Shawn Whitehurst — who’s been with the New Mexico Tea Company for over eight years — and learned that there’s a lot that goes into making the perfect cup of tea.

Whitehurst said the tannin content in the final product makes a significant difference in the flavor of tea. Tannins are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in tea and other foods and beverages. Different types of teas release their tannins in different ways, which is why water temperature is critical for a smooth, enjoyable brew.

Gene Simmons once said, “What kind of band is Rush? It’s Rush.” That might be the most accurate description of this seminal band out of Toronto.

Feb. 12 marked the 40th anniversary of Rush’s eighth studio album “Moving Pictures,” a record that sold over four million copies in the United States and was also certified quadruple-platinum in Canada. The album remains the band’s most popular and recognizable of their extensive discography.

Preserving the Indigenous sign languages of Nigeria

In Nigeria, the Indigenous sign language of Deaf communities is disappearing. Despite making up nearly a fourth of the country’s population, the Nigerian Deaf community suffers from numerous roadblocks when considering their less than egalitarian status in society. But Emmanuel Asonye, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico, is working on a project to help Nigerians who lack access to their native language.

Asonye, who earned his doctorate in linguistics and communications from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, has been studying and cataloging Indigenous Nigerian sign language for years. As the founder of Save the Deaf and Endangered Languages Initiative, Asonye has spent his career advocating for the Nigerian Deaf community.

Local Black-owned business wants microgreens on every plate

Papa’s Little Helpers MicroFarm is a local business with a mission to grow and promote healthy, locally grown food. Owner Rico Robinson has set a goal to better educate everyone — especially the Black community — on the importance of eating healthy.

While the business doesn’t currently provide a large variety of meal options, Robinson hopes that he can incorporate a delivery service with healthy meals in the future.

“It’s going to taste like soul food, but it’s going to be purely healthy food,” Robinson said.

Drag bingo takes center stage for SAC

The University of New Mexico’s Student Union Building kicked off the spring semester with a back to school bingo night on Friday, Jan. 29. Only four students attended, which is the lowest group Uni Nights have had since switching to virtual events. Coincidentally, the Student Activities Center (SAC) hosted a drag bingo night the week before with over 130 students participating.

While drag bingo isn’t quite the same as the more traditional event, the two are similar enough to question the scheduling process of events for both departments. Andrea Marquez, the SAC advisor in charge of coordinating events like drag bingo, said the SAC specifically planned its bingo night earlier in the term because students would have to quarantine after coming to the dorms from out of town.

Looking back at ‘Killer of Sheep,’ a small budget masterpiece

In 1977, Charles Burnett began production of his debut feature “Killer of Sheep,” a film following the everyday working class struggles of a Black slaughterhouse worker. 13 years later, it was one of the first 50 films deemed a national treasure by the Library of Congress.

With this film and his subsequent realist works, Burnett is regarded as one of the most important filmmakers of the 20th century, going on to inspire artists like Spike Lee, Barry Jenkins and Ryan Coogler.

“Killer of Sheep” puts the impoverished Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts under the microscope. The film was made 12 years after the Watts Rebellion, a six-day series of protests against police brutality in which 34 protesters were murdered. The aftermath of the state-sponsored violence echoes throughout the many scenes of children scampering through the ruins of old buildings destroyed in the decade prior.

Divine Nine orgs continue tradition of Black excellence

Brianna Edey is the current president of the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and the University of New Mexico chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. When asked about what makes the “Divine Nine” —a collective of historically Black Greek letter organizations, with eight of the nine active at UNM — unique compared to other organizations, she narrowed it all down to its rich history.

“In fact, our (individual) organizations were created because we weren’t allowed in existing councils,” Edey said.

All of the Divine Nine organizations were founded throughout the 1900s, when Black students in the United States were often ostracized and banned from joining primarily white Greek organizations on college campuses, according to Edey.

The Fro celebrates ‘Black joy and happiness’ for Black History Month

This year, the University of New Mexico’s African American Student Services (AASS or ‘the Fro’) launched Black History Month on Jan. 1 with the raising of the Pan-African flag at Scholes Hall, a symbol of “Black liberation” according to AASS. The event as well as the raising of the ‘Black History Month’ banner by UNM Health Sciences Center were streamed virtually on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

Other virtual events that were either streamed virtually or crafted on social media since then included: “Popular Hair Moments in Black Music History with Natelege Whaley” on Feb. 2, “CROWN Act Town Hall” on Feb. 4 and “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day” on Feb. 7. 

The pandemic created the necessity for wholly virtual events, but the team at the Fro readily accepted the challenge.

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