Acting Mayor Kim Janey today announced she had appointed Rafaela Polanco Garcia and Lorena Lopera to the School Committee, replacing Alexandra Oliver-Dávila and Lorna Rivera, who resigned over the Westie-whites text messages last month.
Both new members have children in BPS.
Polanco Garcia (left in photo), who immigrated from the Dominican Republic, is director of parent engagement and organizing at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs in the South End. According to the mayor's office:
Polanco Garcia is an immigrant who lives in public housing in South Boston and has a background in law and bilingual advocacy. Her activism on behalf of the Latinx community in education includes working on the No on 2 campaign in 2016, helping to pass a sanctuary schools resolution, and passing the Student Opportunity Act.
Lopera, a Colombian immigrant, is New England director of Latinos for Education.
Lopera is a Jamaica Plain resident and veteran of local organizations focused on expanding educational access for Latinx youth and students of color, including Roxbury-based Sociedad Latina, La Vida, Inc., and Building Excellent Schools, as well as national organizations such as City Year and the Posse Foundation. Most recently, she was the Executive Director at Latinos for Education, New England, the first Latino-founded and led national organization dedicated solely to creating leadership pathways for Latinos in education. She is currently co-chair of the Hurley K-8 School Site Council.