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STCC’s Vonetta Lightfoot to Receive 100 Women of Color Award

SPRINGFIELD — Vonetta Lightfoot, Multicultural Afairs operation manager at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), will be honored for her contributions to the community at the 100 Women of Color Gala & Awards on Friday, April 3.

The event, to be held at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford, Conn., recognizes women of color in business, education, entrepreneurship, entertainment, government, and public service, and their impact on the lives of people in Western Mass. and Connecticut communities.

“I’m honored to receive this award, which I did not expect,” Lightfoot said. “I know many people who have received the award in the past, and I’m humbled to be in the same circle.”

Others at STCC who received the award include Denise Hurst, vice president of Advancement and External Affairs, and Lidya Rivera-Early, director of Community Engagement.

In her role as Multicultural Affairs operation manager, Lightfoot brings a diverse range of speakers and performers to the college, from jazz musicians and actors to journalists and acclaimed authors. She said she is proud to expose students and the community in Springfield to the Diversity Series at STCC.

“You never know who is going to be inspired by what they see or hear,” she said. “I’ve seen it a few times with the people I have brought to the college. Our students often open up and share their experiences. They ask questions and want to know more. That is why I do it.”

Lightfoot took the role of managing the Diversity Speaker and Performance Series after her mother, Myra Smith, retired.

“I saw the impact my mom was having all these years,” she said. “People in the community would ask, ‘when’s the next event?’ The fact that the events are free is a huge benefit. We are giving access to people who might not be able to afford these experiences.”

Hurst said STCC is committed to providing a multicultural learning experience. The Diversity Series gives the region access to a wide range of voices.

“Vonetta’s work with the Diversity Series helps to enrich students as well as people in the community,” she said. “We are proud of Vonetta and congratulate her on being honored.”

The award is presented by Eleven28 Entertainment Group. “Our goal is to provide financial support for programs that support the advancement of young women of color,” said June Archer of Eleven28 Entertainment in an online announcement about the event. “A portion of the proceeds from this annual event will support scholarships for young women who graduate from high school and plan on attending college, leadership, and mentorship programs. On this day, we believe these individuals should be honored for their achievements and celebrated for their accomplishments, along with their family, friends, and support networks.”

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