First Hispanic Woman Elected to Georgia General Assembly to Speak at Dalton State


Brenda Lopez’s story envelops her persistence, rise to leadership and daily civil duties. Her background is one that parallels many students at Dalton State College and many people in Northwest Georgia.

Lopez will share her story Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 12:30 p.m. in Brown 105. She is the guest speaker in honor of Dalton State’s participation in National Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Week. The event is free and open to the public.

In 2016, Lopez was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives representing District 99 in Gwinnett County. She is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly.

Twenty-five percent of Dalton State’s student population identify as Hispanic. In 2018, Dalton State became the first officially designated Hispanic-Serving Institute in Georgia. Like many students at the college, Lopez represents the diverse populations of both first generation and Hispanic students.

“We celebrate Lopez’s story as Dalton State official recognizes National HSI Week for the first time,” said Quincy Jenkins, director for Hispanic-Latinx Outreach. “Like many of our students, Brenda represents an increasingly diverse population of first-generation college students entering society. Her personal story of immigration, hard work, challenges, and triumphs speak directly to the goals of Hispanic-Latinx Outreach and our mission as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.”

Lopez came to the United States at the age of 5, later becoming a United State citizen. She attended Georgia State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology. She later earned a law degree from Syracuse University with focuses in international law, national security and comparative politics. She sits on the education, retirement, state planning and community affairs committees in the House of Representatives and served as vice chair of Democratic Party of Georgia Latinx Caucus.