Muskegon resident earns GVSU award for mentorship, advocacy


ALLENDALE — The Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University has recognized Muskegon resident Connie Navarro with its annual award for mentorship and advocacy.

The Gordon Olson Award recognizes individuals whose work embodies the Kutsche Office mission of using history to give voice to diverse communities. Olson served as the Grand Rapids city historian for nearly 25 years, and inspired many residents through his books and programming.

Kimberly McKee, director of the Kutsche Office, called Navarro “a powerful force for documenting, sharing and celebrating Latino life in West Michigan.”

With her husband, Luis, Navarro founded the nonprofit Latinos Working for the Future in 1991. The organization seeks to unify the growing Latino population in greater Muskegon.

McKee said Navarro has worked closely with the Kutsche Office of Local History since its inception in 2009, serving on the advisory council and helping to guide projects on Latino history in West Michigan. Navarro was a co-author of a book, “A New Home in Michigan: The Mexican-American Experience in Muskegon,” published in 2010.

For more information about the Kutsche Office of Local History, visit


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