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NECC Welcomes its First Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Submitted by on July 5, 2022 – 2:53 pm

Haverhill and Lawrence, MA (July 5, 2022) – After a nationwide search involving many highly qualified candidates, Haverhill’s Francellis Quiñones has been selected as the first Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Northern Essex Community College.

Francillis smiles at camera

Francellis Quiñones is NECC’s first Chief Officer of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Quiñones has been dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work in the Merrimack Valley for nearly 20 years. She comes to Northern Essex from Unity Teen Equity Center (UTEC) in Lowell, where she was the Organizing Program Manager. She is also the co-founder and president of Quiñones Culture Consultants. Previously, Quiñones worked as an educator in the Boston Public Schools, Weston Public Schools, and Greater Lawrence Technical School.

“I was drawn to this work because I’m passionate about helping create experiences that help people shift the culture of their spaces,” says Quiñones. “I can utilize my experience as a history teacher, organizer, and culture consultant to pull together all the amazing work NECC is already doing to help students achieve in more ways than had previously.”

Quiñones will oversee the Center for Equity and Social Justice, which was created two years ago. The center is designed to identify opportunities for the college to develop or contribute to new services and partnerships or enhance existing ones that will benefit students through strengthening their communities, ensuring equity, and addressing social justice needs. “The need for equity and social justice in the world around us compels our vision for a better future and urges us forward in this vital work,” writes Northern Essex President Lane Glenn.

NECC Vice President of Lawrence Campus and Community Relations Dr. Noemi Custodia-Lora says hiring Quiñones is a crucial part of building on DEI efforts at the college. “Francellis is local, and that is a great asset because she understands the communities we serve. This will also be helpful as we create programming and additional support for students in their communities.”

Quiñones earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Political Science with a Certificate in International Relations, and her master’s degree from the University of Essex in Colchester, England, in International Relations.

“I hope to build community, celebrate and embrace difference, and create a place of belonging for more people throughout Haverhill and Lawrence. There are so many exciting opportunities ahead of us!  I’m happy to join the NECC family,” says Quiñones.

Northern Essex Community College has campuses in both Haverhill and Lawrence. It offers approximately 60 associate degree and certificate programs and hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.  Each year, 6,000 students have enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses; another 2,000 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 or call 978-556-3700.