Hazel Mack to continue working for underserved

Hazel Mack to continue working for underserved
February 25
00:00 2016
Above: Photo by Tevin Stinson- Hazel Mack speaks during her retirement celebration program held at The Delta Fine Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 19. Earlier this month Mack announced she will be stepping down from her position as the regional managing attorney for Legal Aid of N.C.

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

After 35 years of service with Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC), Hazel Mack announced earlier this month that she will be retiring.

LANC is a statewide nonprofit that provides free legal services in civil matters to low-income people in order to ensure equal access to justice and to remove legal barriers to economic opportunity.

Although she is stepping down from her position as regional managing attorney, Mack said she will continue to serve the underprivileged in the community.

“I have a passion for addressing the needs of the underserved in our community,” she said. “That is something I will always do; it’s a part of me.”

Well before she decided to begin studying law, Mack dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. At the young age of 17 Mack, got involved in the Civil Rights Movement by joining the Winston-Salem Chapter of the Black Panther Party, which was responsible for a number of programs, such as a free breakfast program, free clothing program and a free ambulance program.

As years passed, Mack continued to find other ways to empower the community. In fall of 1996 with the help of a group of determined people in Forsyth County, Mack opened Carter G. Woodson School. As a public charter school, Carter G. Woodson adheres to basic curriculum requirements of the state but has several advantages, such as new and innovative approaches to improve on standard education practices.

Everyone who knows Mack says that the school is her pride and joy. When asked why she decided to open a school she said, “I’m a firm believer that education is a major key to overcoming poverty.

“It’s a myth that you can work yourself out of poverty, it’s not possible,” she continued. “Education is one of the ways that can leap you out of poverty.”

During a reception honoring Mack on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Delta Fine Arts Center, many of Mack’s colleagues, family members, and former clients thanked her for all that she has done over the years. LANC Executive Director George L. Hausen said not only has Mack made a major impact on the community, she has also inspired others to do so as well.

“She has been inspiring to so many people,” said Hausen. “For more than 30 years she has been incredible.”

During a sit-down with The Chronicle, Mack said she will never really fully retire because she has to feed her passion for helping others. Along with working on a new business, Mack said she will continue to work with the students and faculty and Carter G. Woodson.

“I will continue to do what I believe I was put on this earth to do and that is serve the less fortunate and work to improve their quality of life.”

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