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School District Lobby Named After Mimi Mency

Community activist and former Monrovia Unified Board Member Mimi Mency was honored during a dedication ceremony on June 29, when the Monrovia Unified Board of Education officially named the District Office Lobby in her memory.

Mency, who was the first African-American to hold a seat on the Board of Education, died in 2011 at the age of 74.

“We are honored to hold this ceremony, celebrating the life of Mimi Mency and the heroic efforts she made here in Monrovia and in our schools,” Board President Maritza Travanti said. “Naming the District Office Lobby in her name is a way to recognize the positive impact she had at Monrovia Unified and the role she played in ensuring all of our students had access to the tools and resources they needed to be successful.”

The Board, alongside Superintendent Dr. Katherine Thorossian, administrators, and Mency’s family and friends, remembered Mency during the ceremony as a strong advocate of having love and respect for others.

“Mimi Mency was a very significant person in the Monrovia community,” Board Member Rob Hammond said. “She was a force in our town for good and was always willing to step up to have important dialogue. As a community, we benefit today from those conversations 50 years ago. This dedication will enlighten future generations as they come in and ask the important question of who Mimi Mency was. We will get to tell the story all over again about a very important person in our community.”

Joined by Travanti, Hammond and Thorossian, Sheri Parent – the daughter of Mimi Mency – thanked those in attendance while recounting her mother’s life, as well the positive impact Mency had on the Monrovia community in her role as a civil rights leader.

“I have always lived my life in the same manner my mother did and that is by loving and respecting our neighbors” Parent said. “Thank you to the Board of Education and the District for honoring my mother, I am very proud.”

Mency served on the Board of Education from 1972 to 1984, leading the Board as president twice during her term. During her time on the Board, Mency was instrumental in the desegregation of Monrovia schools and led the effort in establishing Monrovia High School’s Black Student Union, a club that is still running strong today.

“Monrovia Unified has always been made up of individuals who are passionate about ensuring a quality education for all of our students,” Thorossian said. “Mimi Mency’s leadership is still felt today, and her activism and role in our school district and lives of our students will never be forgotten.”

Source: Monrovia Schools press release

- Brad Haugaard

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