The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Alumnus Israel (Izzy) Rivera Honored by the Black and Latino Caucus

Israel Rivera | UMass Amherst SPP and Sociology

Israel (Izzy) Rivera, a graduate student in the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy (SPP) and alumnus of the Sociology and Academic Fellows Programs, was recently honored by the Black and Latino Caucus of the Massachusetts Legislature for his community work and leadership.

The award was given in conjunction with a recent LatinX Excellence on the Hill day hosted by the caucus. Rivera received a citation from the group in recognition of “his unyielding commitment to his community and its youth through grassroots efforts, his work with OneHolyoke CDC, and the Holyoke Safe & Successful Youth Initiative.”

Rivera is the director of community engagement for the OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that works to improve housing for low- and moderate-income residents of the city. As community engagement director, Rivera partners with residents to improve quality of life and call for equity in all city neighborhoods. He also serves as a member of the City of Holyoke’s Parks and Recreation Commission and has volunteered as a mentor and coach in the community.

“My goal upon earning my degree in public policy is to alter the perception and the ideology of what is ‘professional,’” Rivera said. “I aim to alter the professional landscape radically, allowing for it to be more of an inclusive club.

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April 19, 2019