Lawrence Resident Receives Social Justice Award
Analuz Garcia of Lawrence, Northern Essex Community College’s assistant director of community & international relations, received the college’s Social Justice Award at the May 15 Commencement Exercises.
First presented in 2019, the Social Justice Award, recognizes individuals, groups, departments, and initiatives that promote values such as a commitment to equity and diversity or the advancement of human rights and social justice. It comes with a cash prize of $1961—in honor of the year the college was founded—that the recipient can use to enhance social justice initiatives at the college.
Garcia has had many roles at Northern Essex. She started as a financial aid counselor, was coordinator of student engagement and activities, and has been in her current position for the past 7 years.
In presenting the award, Northern Essex President Lane Glenn said “No matter what hat she is wearing, Analuz always exudes a passion for social justice and equity. Connecting people of color with educational opportunities and promoting a better understanding of cultural differences drive everything she does.”
Since 2016, she has provided leadership for PIÉS Latinos de NECC, a program that helps immigrants evaluate degrees, high school diplomas and college credits from their native countries and transfer them into credentials that can lead to careers and higher education in the U.S.
More than 900 local residents have benefited from this program since it was started.
And, in 2019, PIÉS Latinos de NECC received the 5th Annual Deval Patrick Prize for Community Colleges, which includes a $50,000 award.
In addition, every year, Garcia organizes an educational exchange. A group of Northern Essex faculty and staff spend a week in the Dominican Republic, learning about the culture and meeting with fellow educators. They return with a better understanding of and appreciation for the many Dominican students who attend Northern Essex.
Garcia also manages the NECC White Fund Lecture Series and in recent years she has brought high level speakers to Greater Lawrence, including most recently Eddie S. Glaude Jr, chair of the African American Studies Department at Princeton University, who delivered a powerful presentation on anti-racism in May of this year.
After President Glenn announced the award, Garcia showed the audience her t-shirt which read “Se Habla Spanglish”
Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth. Each year, more than 5,000 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; and another 2,600 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit the website at www.necc.mass.edu or call 978-556-3700.