Thanksgiving message and News from LatinoJustice


A Thanksgiving Message from Juan Cartagena

Saludos,

As we head into the season of gratitude and family reunification, I hope you will take a moment to think about the many people impacted by the work of LatinoJustice: the DREAMers attending school, taking care of family and hoping to one day be recognized as U.S. citizens; the aspiring Latino lawyers LatinoJustice helps put on the path to law school each year; the Latino immigrants living in fear of hate groups and corrupt law enforcement in communities like Suffolk County, NY; the many disenfranchised Latino voters in Florida; the Latina domestic workers being harassed my unethical employers; and thousands of other Latinos who are struggling to create a good life for their families across the United States.

With the help and guidance of our community, LatinoJustice is providing Latinos nationwide with a voice and with advocates who will take on local, state and the federal government to ensure that our constitutional and civil rights are protected. We are working on everything from immigrant, worker and criminal justice to voter rights and the development of a strong Latino legal pipeline. Our Securing the Dream Capital Campaign is also strengthening our presence and reach in the Southeast, where Latinos continue to alter the economic, professional and political landscape at lightning speed.

Help us improve the lives of thousands of Latino families nationwide. Make a tax-deductible, year-end donation to LatinoJustice today, and your gift will have resounding impact throughout the coming year. To learn more about how your gift benefits LatinoJustice clients, visit Our Programs.

Remember also to list LatinoJustice as your Amazon Smiles beneficiary when you do your holiday shopping on Amazon this season. Each purchase provides additional dollars toward LatinoJustice programs and services. You can set up your account by signing into your Amazon account and selecting LatinoJustice as your charity beneficiary here.

Thank you for your generous and thoughtful commitment to justice, and please remember to make your year-end gift today.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sinceramente,
Juan Cartagena


A Big Gala Thank You

The 2015 Annual Awards Gala was a resounding success! The Gala, which took place November 10th, highlighted the incredible achievements and contributions of our honorees: LUCERO Pilar Ramos, General Counsel, North America, MasterCard; CORPORATE LEADER Comcast Corporation; CAP LEADER Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; and COMMUNITY CHAMPION Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author and Co-Founder of Voices of Our Nation Workshop. The honorees inspired the audience with their insights about the journey of Latinos and the impact of an organization like LatinoJustice. Several of the honorees shared personal stories about their or their families’ connections to our mission. Sunny Hostin of CNN, served as emcee for the evening, and more than 450 guests joined us for the ceremony, dinner and dancing.

A major highlight of the evening was Pilar Ramos’ announcement that MasterCard would match all pledges made that evening toward LatinoJustice’s $5M Securing the Dream Capital Campaign. This pledge so motivated the audience that they donated more than $104,000 toward our Campaign, putting us that much closer to our goal of completing the Campaign by this spring.

Many thanks to our Gala sponsors, including President’s Circle sponsors Comcast Corporation, Goldman Sachs, MasterCard, Nielsen, and Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, who helped us meet our financial goals for the evening. For a full list of Gala sponsors, click here. Proceeds from the Gala help support out legal advocacy and pipeline programs.

Click here for photos of the event.

At the gala, we also unveiled a documentary about LatinoJustice’s 4 pillars of litigation, which was developed in collaboration with Univision.You can watch the documentary here.

For information about next year’s Gala, contact dmedina@latinojustice.org.


National Convening in DC about Latinos and the Criminal Justice System

LatinoJustice PRLDEF led a critical discussion on the effects of the discriminatory criminal justice system on Latino communities in a national convening co-sponsored by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) last week. The meeting was attended by some of the nation’s leading national Latino organizations in the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda coalition, including MALDEF, LULAC, NCLR, and the Hispanic Federation, among many others.

To date, Latinos are adversely and disproportionately affected by discriminatory policing and criminal justice practices – but have not been actively involved in shaping solutions to these problems.

Discussion topics included mass incarceration, drug policy, data collection, immigration policy, criminality in Latino and immigrant communities, the death of unarmed Latinos at the hands of police, and policing / criminal justice / drug policy reform. Additionally, Jason Hernandez, the first Latino to have his prison sentence commuted by President Obama, attended the convening to share his story. We also heard from Mexican, Central American and South American officials and advocates, learn how US-based groups can support their efforts, and begin devising a transnational strategy to advance global drug policy reforms that will benefit Latinos throughout the continent.

Juan Cartagena moderated the day’s discussion, noting “It is time for Latinos to add their voices to the forces of change on this critical issue.”

You can see photos from the convening here.


LatinoJustice Files SCOTUS Amicus Addressing Importance of Campus Diversity

LatinoJustice collaborated with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) to file an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court this month in Fisher v. University of Texas on behalf of 25 Texas and national Latina/o organizations, including UT students in support of the university’s race-conscious college admissions plan.

“A reversal of the Fifth Circuit’s decision in this case would limit the full diversity of Latina/o and African American students’ access to higher education at UT, and because the immense educational benefits of diversity – including a broad variety of viewpoints and experiences among students of color -- flow to all students, such a reversal would be detrimental to all students," said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel for LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

Petitioner Abigail Fisher, a White student, had filed suit in 2008 against UT-Austin alleging that the university denied her admission on the basis of her race. In August 2012, LJP & MALDEF filed a joint amicus brief in Fisher I urging the Supreme Court to uphold the university’s admissions plan. In June 2013, the Court ordered the Fifth Circuit to review the UT’s limited consideration of race in its admissions policy. Upon such review, the Fifth Circuit again upheld it as constitutional. Petitioner again appealed the decision, which is now back before the Supreme Court.


LAWBound Winter Program Open for Admissions

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Interested in law school? Apply for our LAWbound Winter program! This is a great way to get the inside scoop on law school admissions and legal careers--between semesters--but after all of the big holidays.

We are accepting applications for our Winter 2016 LAWbound Academy, which takes place January 11-15, 2016. Applications are due on Friday, December 11th. You need to submit one recommendation letter, your official transcript AND answer four short questions on our application form. If law school is in your future, make LatinoJustice LAWbound part of your pre-law curriculum. Find out more about the application process by clicking here.


Twitter Highlight

  • #UndocumentedYouth may not vote, but they are creating a voice more powerful than most votes link here #Election2016
  • Congress must act on #PuertoRico economic crisis. Tell DC during the Day of Action on Dec 2nd #BoricuasOnline see flyer here
  • We are weaving a tapestry of justice, it is invisible now but it will be apparent in future generations - Junot Diaz #LJPGala15

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