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Local 480 Training Director Shares Her Journey with IATSE and Talks about her vision of Diversity and Inclusion in New Mexico

Belle

Training Director for the newly formed Training Center, a 10,000 sq ft. facility located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Belle Allen is a proud active nine-year member of Local 480 in New Mexico. She began her career working for the Department of Energy then spent a decade as an IT project manager before moving to New Mexico where she discovered a thriving entertainment industry.  

Finding herself energized and continually inspired by the collective creativity of this community, Allen began taking classes and in the blink of an eye, found herself working on sets as a Production Assistant (PA) and quickly moved up the ranks. Belle says her biggest milestone has been becoming the Director of Training at Local 480. “To live in a state where the African American population is below 5 percent (with even lower numbers within the local IATSE membership itself) it’s been my greatest honor to have my skills and experience recognized and I dedicate 110 percent every day to develop courses and curate trainers to elevate our members craft skills and safety knowledge,” she says.  

Belle also currently serves as the Co-chair of the Local’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She says receiving the call from her Local’s President, Liz Pecos is a call that she will forever be grateful for. “Our committee took to the streets, organizing and marching with Black Lives Matter and participating in Ecumenical marches designed to bring knowledge and unity. We have so much more that unites than divides us. I’m also proud to share that this Local and its leadership, is striving to lead the way towards equality and unity in its dedication to outreach and solidarity,” she added. 

During these challenging times Allen says if there are any words of encouragement, she would share with her fellow IA Sisters and Brothers it would be what her grandmother would always gently whisper in her ear, Belle, if you show up at the table and you’re the only person of color, it’s your job to ask why and then work to change it. I am very cognizant that I stand on her shoulders and of my ancestors before me. While progress does not materialize overnight; it will manifest if we keep the mission alive in our everyday interactions to dissolve the barriers of colorism by remembering one simple thing… We are all God’s manifestation placed here to embrace and uplift one another. I understand the assignment. Won’t you join me?” 

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