Lizet Garcia '23 Awarded the Antonio Maceo Award for Racial Justice

Geography alum Lizet Garcia '23 is one of the two Mellon Mays fellows receiving Dartmouth awards for outstanding contributions to their fields.

In their thesis, Garcia (who uses she/they pronouns), examined a phenomenon known as the "school-to-prison pipeline", which refers to the disproportionate funneling of youth from nonwhite and low-income backgrounds into systems of carcerality. Agatha Bordonaro writes:

"Current research shows that this pipeline disrupts academic performance, increases students' lifelong experience with violence, and costs taxpayers $35 million annually. Garcia probes whether geographical research methods can help dismantle this pipeline, and if there are ways to improve campus safety without relying on surveillance. She focuses on South Bay schools and communities in Los Angeles, where she grew up.  

"I worked with alumni and high school students to juxtapose carcerality and safety, and de-naturalize the presence of police in their schools and neighborhoods," Garcia says. "We also worked towards imagining what a future without carcerality might look like—one that emphasizes safety and love."

This fall, Garcia began a PhD in geography at the City University of New York, where she is supported by a fellowship from the National Science Foundation. (CUNY recently featured Garcia and her research on its website.)"

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