Alejandra Molina, director of the office of intercultural affairs and assistant professor of Spanish at HWS was recently presented with the Mary Ann Mallard Community Service Award at the 29th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner of the Geneva Area Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). An article about the event in the Finger Lakes Times quotes the president of the NAACP Lucile Mallard speaking of Molina’s role as community member, mentor and friend:
“She wanted the Latino community to be recognized in our community and become a part of our community in a way that I don’t think anyone else has,” Mallard is quoted.
Molina joined the HWS faculty in 1995. Along with directing Intercultural Affairs, Molina also previously led the campus’ Committee on Inclusive Excellence. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in Spanish American Colonial Literature at Cornell University. Molina works with agencies to provide local migrant workers with community services and her students have assisted with programs organized by the Geneva Community Health Clinic and the Salvation Army. She also serves on several local boards.
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
NAACP holds Freedom Fund dinner
Amanda Folts • September 25, 2010
GENEVA — The 29th Annual Freedom Fund Dinner of the Geneva Area Branch of the NAACP was filled with applause for the night’s honorees, including the recipients of the Clarence Day Memorial and Mary Ann Mallard Community Service Awards.
At the dinner, held at Club 86 Friday night and featuring the theme “One Nation, One Dream,” the recipients of each award were announced. This year the Clarence Day Memorial Award was given to Nick Brinson, who started his boxing career in 2001 and is now a professional fighter.
Lucile Mallard, president of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), said the award is given to an outstanding male who is a role model in the community. She said Brinson is a mentor and friend to young men and women at the Boys and Girls Club and has also become a foster parent. At age 23, she said he is the award’s youngest recipient.
In accepting the award, Brinson noted that hard work pays off and later added that he enjoys working with children.
The Mary Ann Mallard Community Service Award was awarded to Alejandra Molina, director of the office of intercultural affairs and assistant professor of Spanish at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Lucile Mallard said Molina is more than just a staff person at the Colleges, but a mentor and a friend to her students.
“She wanted the Latino community to be recognized in our community and become a part of our community in a way that I don’t think anyone else has,” Mallard said.
“I have always, always admired her,” Molina said of Mary Ann Mallard when accepting the award. “So, it is a great honor.”
The evening’s keynote speaker was the Rev. James Gerling, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Geneva. Gerling spoke about Geneva’s diversity, noting the nation’s motto of E pluribus unum also fits Geneva (“out of all things one, one out of all things”).
Residents of larger cities might say Geneva doesn’t know diversity, but Gerling characterized Geneva as the “Neapolitan ice cream of the Finger Lakes.” In the sea of vanilla that is the region, Gerling said Geneva provides the flavors.
He said Geneva is, to quote a favorite expression of contemporary culture, “living the dream” in a way that reflects the vision of the nation’s founders – although sometimes “E pluribus unum” has become “E pluribus khaos.”
That’s why it’s imperative each generation equip and prepare the leaders of successive generations, he said.
Other honorees at the dinner included Pastor Emanuel Johnson and his wife, Annie R. Johnson, of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, and Pastor Clarence Williams and his wife, Dorothy Williams, of Mt. Calvary Church of God in Christ.