The roundtable brought together leading members of the Latino community from the South, including law and non-law scholars, legal advocates, community activists, politicians, media representatives, foundation representatives, and emerging leaders, to imagine the different futures for Latinos that are possible by 2050. The discussion was dedicated to exploring vitally important issues that will shape the prospects for Latinos in the region in coming years. Questions of immigration, education, economic opportunity, and civic and political engagement were central to the conversations that took place over the two days.
On October 12, 2018, Robert Nelson and Meghan Dawe presented a white paper Latinxs in the Legal Profession: A Statistical Portrait at The State of Latinos in the Law Symposium: Identifying Challenges, Defining Strategies and Impacting the Pipeline. The event was hosted by Chief Judge Ruben Castillo of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
On March 2, 2018, we collaborated with Stephen Zack and Luis Suarez of Boies, Schiller, and Flexner to hold the Miami Leadership Summit at the Miami-Dade College – Wolfson Campus. The convening brought together leading scholars, legal practitioners, and media representatives in the Miami area to explore key areas of opportunity through educational innovation, broadcasting, and a vibrant economy.
In February 2018, Professor Luz Herrera of Texas A & M School of Law and Dr. Pilar Hernández Escontrías, currently a law student at UC Irvine School of Law, authored an article on “The Network for Justice: Pursuing a Latinx Civil Rights Agenda” in the Harvard Latinx Law Review. The article explores the need to develop a Latinx-focused network that advances law and policy, given the rapid growth of this population and the significant challenges and opportunities that it will face in coming years. Professor Herrera and Dr. Escontrias recognize the importance of building on existing infrastructure and resources and therefore propose improved coordination to build a national network to address Latinx-related issues. That network would connect existing advocacy institutions and community organizations with law schools, academic institutions, lawyers, and policy makers. Professor Herrera currently co-directs the Network for Justice initiative as part of the American Bar Foundation’s Future of Latinos project, and both she and Dr. Escontrias serve on The Future of Latinos advisory board.
On January 6, 2018, the Network for Justice held its first Advisory Council meeting at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
The Future of Latinos Project Advisory Council Member, Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University was awarded a Russell Sage Foundation Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Grant to encourage multi-disciplinary perspectives on questions stemming from the significant changes in the racial, ethnic, and immigrant-origin composition of the U.S. population.
On April 8-9, 2017, we convened 50 key stakeholders at our second regional roundtable, held at Yale Law School. The co-organizer for the Yale roundtable was Cristina Rodríguez, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor at Yale Law School. The Roundtable opened with keynote addresses and accompanying white papers on the history of Latinos in the Northeast (prepared by Professor Carmen Whalen of Williams College), a demographic profile of Latinos in the Northeast and nationally (prepared by Professors Douglas S. Massey and Amelie Constant of Princeton University), and the current landscape of law and policy issues facing Latinos in the Northeast (prepared by Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF).
On November 7, 2016, we held a planning summit at UCLA to launch a pilot Network for Justice in California with generous support from the California Bar Foundation, the California Community Foundation, a number of departments and offices at the UCLA campus, and UC Davis School of Law. The summit brought together over 50 participants from law school clinics, law firms, public interest organizations, foundations, and academic research centers as well as a group of emerging leaders. Among the participants were California Supreme Court Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, California Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez and Jose Medina, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Thomas Saenz, California Rural Legal Assistance’s Executive Director Jose Padilla, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Community Foundation Antonia Hernandez, California Bar Foundation Executive Director Sonia Gonzales, Dean of the UC Davis School of Law Kevin Johnson, and leading attorney and Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist Manny Medrano.
On June 6-7, 2016, with generous support from the Chicago Community Trust, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and Northwestern University’s Office of the Provost, the ABF convened over 80 thought leaders on Latino issues in the Midwest for our inaugural regional roundtable.
In February 2016, the American Bar Foundation presented a Fellows CLE at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego where we convened an impressive group of Latino legal leaders.