Alvena Heggins and Cassandra Daniels have been awarded the 2012 Sharon S. Mújica Community Service Award. This award is given annually by the Institute for the Study of the Americas to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to Latin American and Latino communities in North Carolina. In addition to their decades of public service, they were recognized for their contributions to Building Integrated Communities, an initiative of the Latino Migration Project in partnership with municipal governments in North Carolina. The program aims to bring together local government officials and immigrant leaders to create comprehensive immigrant integration strategies in order to improve public safety, promote economic development, enhance communication, and improve relationships.
Since 2009, Mrs. Heggins and Mrs. Daniels have effectively brought together diverse stakeholders who represent immigrant communities with local government leaders to create comprehensive integration plans in their respective cities of High Point and Greenville, where they serve as the Directors of Human Relations Commission and Council. They deserve recognition for all that they progress they have made in this process, which includes spearheading new community and government initiatives aimed at developing more inclusive, empowering communities and developing action plans to guide efforts in the future.
Past recipients of the Sharon S. Mújica award include Jerry Markatos, Jane Stein, Florence Simán, and Ilana Dubester. Ms. Daniels and Ms. Heggins received their awards on December 8, 2012 at the fifth annual Faculty Dinner of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the Fed Ex Global Education Center in Chapel Hill.