BCC's Coordinator of Multicultural Center Recognized as 2019 Latina Leader

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Velez was one of 11 Latina leaders honored at the March 29 event.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College's coordinator of the Multicultural Center, Eleanore Velez, has been recognized by Amplify Latinx as a 2019 Latina Leader.

Amplify Latinx is a Boston-based, non-partisan, collaborative movement whose mission is to build Latinx economic and political power by significantly increasing Latinx civic engagement and representation in leadership position across sectors.

In celebration of Women's History Month, Amplify Latinx launched a campaign to identify 11 outstanding Latina leaders who exemplify the best in their professions and who are lifting others as they climb. Amplify Latinx received 45 nominations from corporate, civic, nonprofit, political, and entrepreneurship sectors in Massachusetts. Velez was one of 11 Latina leaders honored at the March 29 event.

"We couldn't be more proud of Eleanore and all of the work she does to help our students, our campus and our community," Ellen Kennedy, president of the college, said. "Eleanore is known for her work in helping to humanize situations that often feel abstract or different. She helps our students embrace and understand each other’s backgrounds to expand their educational opportunities and worldviews."

Velez's nomination went on to explain how she has more than 25 years of experience working with cross-cultural initiatives. At Berkshire Community College, she has assumed a leadership role in fostering a welcoming and engaging campus for students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds so that they can thrive and achieve their full potential. Through the years she has been a liaison and advocate with community agencies enhancing the dialogue that leads to deeper community integration. She is currently a board member of Barrington Stage Company and a member of the Four Freedoms Coalition.

"I feel quite honored and humbled in receiving this award," Velez said. "I come to work each day to try to foster better understanding between various people with different backgrounds – I feel blessed to be able to work at BCC and various segments of our community. To be recognized for doing something that I love – helping people connect and engage in a meaningful way – is a great feeling."

Velez is a diversity and inclusion champion who believes in the transformative power of education and genuine human interactions. Velez has received the Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) Founders of America Award, the Berkshire Immigrant Center’s Jane Addams Spirit Award and the Multicultural Competence Award from Multicultural Bridge.

Velez, who resides in Lee, was born in Mexico. She holds an associate's degree from BCC and a bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College.


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