Marie Garza, 34, Maplewood, has received a 2014 Hawkinson Scholarship from the Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace & Justice in Minneapolis. A 1997 graduate of Harding High School, she earned an associate degree in criminal justice/law enforcement at Century College and is enrolled in a bachelor’s program in criminal justice at Metropolitan State University.
Hawkinson Foundation scholarships are aimed at encouraging students who have already demonstrated a commitment to peace and justice to strive for those values in their educational pursuits and in their personal and professional lives. Since 1988, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to more than 130 students from or attending schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.
Garza grew up in a household with domestic violence, poverty and illiteracy, and draws on those experiences in her efforts to promote greater cooperation and understanding between the Latino community and law enforcement in addressing domestic violence.
As a single mother, Garza joined the West Side Safety Council, helping neighbors navigate the criminal justice system. She created Liz’s Daughter, a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing domestic violence awareness, prevention and education in the Twin Cities. A focal point is its Brides March Against Domestic Violence (inspired by a woman murdered on her wedding day) that goes to the Minnesota capitol each year as an active protest against domestic violence.
Garza worked for the passage of the Crittenden/Schneider law to establish a domestic violence offender registry in Minnesota (named in memory of two police officers killed while responding to domestic disturbance calls) and serves on the DFL Latino Caucus, directing resolutions and endorsements that help move forward both native and immigrant Latino communities.
The 2014 Hawkinson scholars are recognized at the Foundation’s Awards Presentation on Sunday, October 5, 2:30–4:30, at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, 1660 W. County Road B, Roseville. The event is open to the public via RSVP by calling 612-331-8125.
For more information, contact the Foundation at 612-331-8125 or online at www.hawkinsonfoundation.org.