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College Hosts Dominican Hero

Submitted by on March 15, 2011 – 12:00 pm

Congresswoman Minou Tavarez Mirabal from the Dominican Republic created major excitement when she visited Lawrence, March 1, at the invitation of the college.

She was welcomed like a superstar by the droves of Greater Lawrence residents who came out to greet her and listen to her speak about her famous family and her efforts to address domestic violence in her country.

Lane Glenn, Minou Tavarez Mirabel and Karletty Medina

Lane Glenn, Minou Tavarez Mirabel and Karletty Medina

Mirabal is the daughter of Minerva Mirabal, who along with her two sisters, was assassinated in 1960 by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, a brutal dictator who ruled the Dominican Republic for 30 years. The story of the Mirabal sisters—known as the butterflies—was immortalized in the book In the Time of the Butterflies, written by Julia Alvarez, the famous Dominican writer, now living in New England.

Since being elected to Congress in 2002, Mirabal has made every effort to address the issues of gender violence and political violence against women.

In her remarks, she claimed her passion is connected to the tragic deaths of her mother and her aunts. “This way the Mirabal sisters will remain alive forever. Their deaths were not in vain.”

Analuz Garcia, who is originally from the Dominican Republic and now works as an enrollment counselor in the Lawrence CPAC, was “giddy” at the opportunity to meet Mirabal, who she considers a role model and a personal hero.

“In a country where violence against women is acceptable and taboo to speak of, she has worked very hard to educate the Dominican people about crimes and injustices committed against women all over the world.”

Karletty Medina, who is also originally from the Dominican Republic and is senior community outreach counselor for the college, shared Garcia’s excitement.

“It’s great to see how she has overcome the tragedy she faced growing up and what a strong woman she has become.  I admire how she fights for woman rights everyday and how she has made this one of her missions.”

Part of the White Fund Enlightenment Series, which is presented by Northern Essex Community College, Mirabal’s presentation was held at the Lawrence Senior Center. The college partnered with the Lawrence YWCA, the Mayor’s Task Force on Health Services, and Brooks School to bring Mirabal to the city