Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Eight faculty members awarded in 2023 Diversity Awards

Antonio Gonzalez Jr
Antonio ‘Nio’ Lavermon holding his Bridge to Equity Award on April 13.

Cerritos College awarded eight people for the outstanding leadership role they’ve taken at campus. The college held a ceremony for those who had won an award at the Student Hall on April 13.

Cerritos has the fifth largest ethnic group in the city which are Asian 59.76%, White 18.24% but in particular Hispanics make up 14.2% while Black or African are 8.2% according to Data USA and Worldwide Population 2023

The purpose of the award was to acknowledge those who took a certain position to help students in every way they could.

Those who were awarded gave an explanation on what the award meant to them and why is their role important not only to students, but as a community

Sarah Chavez, a Job Placement Technician at Cerritos College, won the Bridge To Equity Award which represents excellence promoting and supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility at Cerritos College.

“… I’ve always had a passion for giving back and helping others. To me equity and diversity should be the norm not a goal that we want to accomplish. And giving back is at the heart of everything I do no matter who I work with or who I help.” Sarah Chavez said.

Another one of three recipients who won the Bridge Equity Award, Antonio Lavermon, LGBTQ program facilitator, took this specific position a year and a half ago due to college not having an LGBT program at the time.

“A year and half ago there wasn’t LGBTQ program on campus and so a lot of my efforts over the past year has been increasing the visibility of LGBTQ identities on campus, but at large that means a lot of different things …”

Antonio, who also goes by ‘Neo’, previously worked at the LGBTQ center at Long Beach felt the urge to help out more. Neo was asked about the changes he hopes to see amongst the school and/or community.

“When it comes to social work or social justice work, a lot of the time of the efforts are centered around making sure people understand why we’re doing what we do … my hope is that overtime it’s gets easier to have that those difficult conversations and multiple spaces”

Lavermon continued, “With students, staff, faculty, larger stakeholders, donors and alumni. Understanding in cultivating a space in which we can communicate openly about why it’s important we move forward …”

The third recipient who was awarded the Bridge to Equity, Pamela Sepulveda, a manager at the falcons nest gave an explanation on the award.

“I was recognized for the efforts … in making sure our space is equitable, inclusive for students to come and receive basic needs services. From our clothing, food, hygiene items, housing options…”

Sepulveda spoke about the improvement she’s seen when students asked for help,

“for example we have close to 500 students engaged in the services at the falcons nest. In particular I can tell you that students who are receiving help with housing; this is our students who are un-housed, meaning not having a stable place to live”

Sepulveda goes on, “We are finding our students in housing are transferring faster to universities and completing certificates at faster rates than their peers who are housed…”

The school will hold another ceremony in November.

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About the Contributor
Antonio Gonzalez Jr
Antonio Gonzalez Jr, Staff Writer
Antonio Gonzalez Jr is a staff writer for Talon Marks. Besides journalism, Antonio is an airplane technician who loves to travel around the world. He aspires to become a public relation representative for Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or any other big cooperation. He hopes to transfer to Cal Poly.
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Eight faculty members awarded in 2023 Diversity Awards