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2020 honorary doctorate recipient has spent 45 years empowering Native American communities

Lorenda T. Sanchez, executive director of California Indian Manpower Consortium Inc., was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at a ceremony on Nov. 2, 2020. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

Lorenda T. Sanchez has devoted more than 45 years to empowering generations of Native Americans to achieve excellence, revitalize their communities, and meet 21st century challenges.

In recognition of her dedication to provide opportunity and improve the lives of Native Americans, Sanchez was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2020 from Sacramento State and the CSU Board of Trustees.

Sanchez, a member of the Northern Paiute, is the executive director of California Indian Manpower Consortium Inc. (CIMC), the largest nationwide Native American social and human service organization. It provides resources for tribal leaders and Native American organizations including work experience, employment training, elder and child care, and other support services.

“The honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters is special to me because it represents acknowledgement of 45 years of enhancing, advancing, and advocating for the social, economic and workforce development potential of Indian and Native American people and communities,” said Sanchez.

“California State University, Sacramento, provides a quality and affordable education to the residents of Sacramento County, nearby counties, and beyond. Two of my daughters demonstrate the value and quality education they received through Sac State as exceptional employees of the State of California, Department of Justice.”

Sanchez has led CIMC’s commitment to build partnerships with each new administration in Washington. Under her leadership, CIMC has strengthened collaborations with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Division of Indian and Native American Programs.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 individuals have benefited from Sanchez’s dedication to improving the lives of Native Americans.

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About Anita Fitzhugh

Anita Fitzhugh, at Sac State since 2015, is public information office and writer. She has more than 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist/producer and PR consultant. Anita often can be found enjoying the American River Parkway or on a new adventure with her family.

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