Staff, students and community members whose work promotes diversity, inclusion and social justice were honored at Linn-Benton Community College's Unity Celebration held Feb. 25 at the college.
The annual event recognizes individuals and organizations whose work establishes unity and inclusivity while promoting diversity and social justice on the college campus and in our communities.
Awards given at the celebration include the Analee Fuentes Unity Award, presented to LBCC student Kamran Ahmed Mirza, LBCC staff member Kim Sullivan, and LBCC faculty member Mary Mayfield, and the Gary Westford Community Connection award, presented to community member and former LBCC Multicultural Center Director Dee Curwen.
Mirza, an Associate of Arts transfer student from Albany, is an outspoken social justice advocate. Her work includes securing inclusive signage for gender-neutral restrooms on the college campus, and bringing awareness and learning opportunities concerning trans students. Mirza also founded a social advocacy organization named Haus of Dharma, which provides services for gender, sexual and romantic minorities as well as the underprivileged in Linn and Benton counties.
Sullivan, of Albany, is an International Student Coordinator at LBCC. She was recognized for her patience and sensitivity to international students and cultural differences, and her efforts supporting inclusiveness on campus. Sullivan also cofounded the LBCC Global Connections Club, with the goal of providing social and cultural exchange opportunities for domestic and international students.
Mayfield, of Corvallis, has taught Spanish GED classes at the college for 14 years. After taking the position with little Spanish speaking skills, she enrolled in Spanish classes, hired a tutor and travelled to Guatemala for an intensive language emersion course to better serve her students. She is now bilingual, and is responsible for many Spanish-speaking students earning their GEDs through the college.
Curwen, of Corvallis resident, was recognized for her work both at the college and in the community, specifically around her work at LBCC and the creation of the Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, which provides services, social opportunities and a cultural home for those who would otherwise not have one.