Bilingual children’s book author, 2007 Master’s in Public Affairs and Administration alumna, Luz Maria Mack is a mother of three and a full-time Admin Specialist to the Associate Director for Clinical Research at Weill Cornell Medicine. Luz has always been the type of person who goes the extra mile to lend a helping hand. Her career choice was no coincidence. She also holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from City College which she puts to good use along with her MPA in what you might call her “regular” job at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Motherhood, family, community service and education define Luz Mack’s life. Everything came together naturally when she started writing her bilingual children’s book series, Little Maria.
“It all started when my daughters got into private school, and my youngest realized she was different. She wanted to be like her friends, who had cute short blond hair, and vanilla skin. One day she asked me if we could please cut and dye her hair blonde and straighten her curls. I still remember those big brown eyes, with her puffed updo hairstyle, tugging my hand for us to do this right away! In her mind, there was no time to waste,” said Luz Maria Mack, “That feeling rushed over me as I remembered feeling the same way — different. The next day I shared my daughter’s feelings with her teacher and received advice that would set the stage for my future purpose.”
The teacher encouraged Luz to show her children pictures of family members and important historical figures that look like them. Luz started a new bedtime routine which turned into storytelling but more importantly, it became positive and powerful imagery of people of color.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped Luz from creating new opportunities to serve South Bronx Children. She produces free, virtual readings that spread by word of mouth and inspire children to meet and listen to stories by black and brown authors. She is the recipient of a Bronx Council of the Arts grant. The grant enabled her to work with Strive Higher to giveaway books and publish through the Dominican Writers Association. In March, Luz was honored by New York Cares for Women’s History Month. Her Little Maria animation series was shown at the Model N Movie International Short Film Festival in January. In April, Little Maria will be featured on PBS Thirteen’s “Let’s Learn”. On June 13, 2021, the Mack Family has partnered with a non-profit agency and her husband Tony’s pizzeria, Luconi NYC, to host children’s book authors on a storytelling day also providing free books and pizza meals to children.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Luz now lives in the Bronx with her husband Tony and their three children; Andrea, Chloe, and Tony.
Pequeña María/Little María books and Luz’s other creations are available in English and Spanish, Italian or French. You can learn about the stories that help children discover confidence, courage, empowerment and self-love by visiting Luz’s website.