Monday, July 22, 2024

NHC outreach coordinator appointed to governor’s Hispanic advisory council

NHC Office of Diversity and Equity outreach coordinator Mari McKenzie was appointed to the governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — A local county employee has been appointed to serve on a state council representing the Hispanic community.

READ MORE: ‘Prime time’: New NHC commission approved to bring Hispanic, Latino representation to the table

New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity outreach coordinator Mari McKenzie was selected to serve on Gov. Roy Cooper’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.

Established in 2017, the advisory council — consisting of 12 voting members appointed by the governor for two years — provides insight on issues related to Hispanic, Latino, Latinx, and Latine populations statewide and how the government can better support the communities.

McKenzie joined the county’s office of diversity and equity in 2021 and worked to develop inroads with the Hispanic and Latin residents. She helped hundreds of individuals connect with healthcare professionals for Covid-19 vaccines and testing during the pandemic.

Helping to develop the New Hanover County Hispanic-Latino Commission this year, McKenzie was also integral in launching the inaugural Cape Fear Latinos Festival.

“Mari continues to be such an important person in our outreach to our Spanish-speaking residents throughout the community,” Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson said in a press release. “Her selection to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs is a reflection of dedication to make sure these residents who come from other parts of the world feel connected to the place they now call home.”

In 2022, McKenzie was nominated by Wilma Magazine as a finalist for Women to Watch in the public sector category. She also received the U.S. Army’s Meritorious Public Service Medal, awarded to private citizens for outstanding service to their community and military families.

“I am truly humbled and honored to be selected for this role on the Advisory Council,” McKenzie said in a release. “Being able to help people and get them connected with the services they need is something I take great pride in, and I’m excited to use my experiences here in New Hanover County to help Hispanic/Latin families on a state-level.”

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