October 8, 2019
Las Vegas, N.M. – Shanea Strachan, a New Mexico Highlands 2014 media arts alumna and Bahamas native, will be at Highlands Oct. 9 to give a talk titled “Hurricane Dorian: The Road to Recovery.”
The free talk and screening of Strachan’s short documentary film and other visuals about Hurricane Dorian will be from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Lora Shields Building, Room 265, 806 National Ave.
“Hurricane Dorian was the most catastrophic hurricane to ever hit the Bahamas,” Strachan said. “It’s important to speak out about it to keep the conversation and dialogue going because we have a long road to recovery.
“The only way we as a nation can move toward restoration and recovery is with the help of others, so speaking about it is key in keeping the world connected to what is happening at home,” Strachan said.
Strachan said she wants people to know that Hurricane Dorian, which struck in early September as a category 5 storm, changed the lives of Bahamians forever.
“This is the first hurricane that claimed many lives and completely wiped out Bahamian settlements and communities. Thousands of homes were destroyed, leaving many residents to rebuild their lives from rock bottom. Many persons were left without jobs, and many children are still out of school. The storm was also devastating psychologically, and we are rebuilding now as a nation,” Strachan said.
Highlands is sponsoring a hurricane relief drive for Bahamian survivors of Hurricane Dorian. Erika Derkas, Highlands sociology professor, and Ruthy Watson, HU-CARES director, are leading the relief effort.
“Shanea Strachan is one of the most talented and celebrated students I have come into contact with,” Derkas said. “She is tenacious and inspiring, and we are very privileged to have her return to us to discuss how communities rebuild after the devastating effects of extreme weather.”
People are asked to consider donating items including clothing in good shape, bottled water, snacks, non-perishable food such as canned soup, tuna and chicken, fruit cups and juice pouches, and disposable sanitary items like pads, wipes and diapers.
“These are the types of supplies we were advised are needed most,” Derkas said.
People may drop off items at the Highlands Women’s Center in Hewett Hall, Room 212, 1103 National Ave. or at the HU-CARES Office, Highlands Student Center, Room 328, 800 National Ave. An agency dedicated to delivering the items directly to the people of the island will be used.
“These contributions can make a big difference to people because it brings hope,” Strachan said. “Hope to push forward, hope to carry on, knowing that even as far away as New Mexico, there are people that care about what is going on in the Bahamas and want to help residents rebuild their lives,” Strachan said.
Strachan, who works for Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, creates, shoots and edits original content for television programming.
“Media arts and technology prepared me tremendously for my professional career. My concentration was video and audio production. The hands-on learning was a great training tool that prepared me for my role in television production today,” Strachan said.