FARMINGTON — The city Community Relations Commission voted Monday evening to spend $5,000 in the interest of harmony.
It will cosponsor the Creating Cultural Harmony Conference that is held every other year at San Juan College. The event is organized by the San Juan County Partnership, a community action agency.
"I think it's a good place for the commission to have a presence," said Pamela Drake, San Juan County Partnership executive director. "It's always a celebration of the cultures in the area."
David John, chairman of the Community Relations Commission, said the commission can use its money to cosponsor the event. He nominated the commission's new co-chairman, George Francis, to work with the San Juan County Partnership on the event.
The city budgeted $7,500 to plan a joint conference with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and San Juan County Partnership, but the commission did not want to participate, said Assistant City Manager Bob Campbell.
Talks ended after the parties could not agree on what the conference would focus on. The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission wanted the conference to center on complaints about racial discrimination in Farmington, while the city wanted to focus on other cultural topics, Campbell said.
"We're taking advantage of the expertise of the San Juan County Partnership," Campbell said.
The 16th Creating Cultural Harmony Conference will be at the Henderson Fine Arts Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013.
According to a tentative agenda, the conference will feature two keynote speakers.
The first, scheduled for 9:15 a.m. is Diana Rico, an internationally published journalist, editor and author from Taos. She will speak about how to lead through kindness.
The second keynote speaker is Michael Brown, of the Sankofa Community Wellness and Prevention Institute in Albuquerque.
He will speak on how to have hope in the face of disillusionment.
For more information on the conference, contact the San Juan County Partnership at 505-566-5867.