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American Bar Foundation Brings Together Leaders in the Latino Community for Midwest Roundtable

May 31, 2016, Press releases

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Chicago, IL  The American Bar Foundation (ABF) will host a series of regional roundtables across the country for a new major research project,The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility.” The first of these roundtables will be held on June 6-7, 2016, in Chicago, at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

The roundtable is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and Northwestern’s Office of the Provost. The roundtable will bring together leading members of the Latino community from Chicago and the Midwest, 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 will be 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 will all be central to the conversations taking place over the two days.

This initiative is led by a group of nationally recognized scholars under the direction of Rachel F. Moran, the inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the ABF, and dean emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA Law School; and Robert Nelson, director emeritus and the MacCrate Research Chair in the Legal Profession at the ABF; and professor of sociology and law at Northwestern University. This nation-wide effort is devoted to understanding the current condition of Latinos in the United States, the structural barriers that impede full equality and integration for this emerging population, and the sites of intervention that promise to be most effective in promoting opportunity and mobility through law and policy.

“Addressing the needs of the growing number of Latinos in our country, projected to make up 30 percent of the nation’s population by the year 2050, is urgent and important work that advances equal justice even as inequality rises in the United States,” Moran said. “The role of law in serving the greater good will be shaped in significant degree by how we rise to critical challenges like this one.”

Along with the Midwest roundtable in Chicago, the ABF will host regional roundtables in the west (Stanford University), south (Texas), southeast (Miami), and northeast (Yale University). These roundtables will culminate in a national summit on these issues.

Keynote addresses will be made by Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum, Lilia Fernández, professor at The Ohio State University, and Ricardo Meza, attorney at Greensfelder and former Midwest regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). To date, confirmed participants include Juan Salgado (CEO and President of Instituto del Progreso Latino), Vicente Serrano (Sin Censura con Vicente Serrano), Dr. Wanda Figueroa-Peralta (ASPIRA of Illinois), Christine Neumann-Ortiz (Voces de la Frontera), Jesús del Toro (ImpreMedia), and Nancy Andrade (ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities). Cook County Commissioner and former mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia will lead a final discussion on the second day of the event.

For more information on the “Future of Latinos” research project, please visit the Facebook and Twitter page, or contact the project manager, Pilar Margarita Hernández Escontrías, at pescontrias@abfn.org.

About The Chicago Community Trust

For 101 years, The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, has connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. In 2012, the Trust, together with its donors, granted more than $150 million to nonprofit organizations. From strengthening schools to assisting local art programs, from building health centers to protecting the safety net for those hardest hit by the recession, the Trust continues to enhance our region. To learn more, please visit the Trust online at www.cct.org.

About the American Bar Foundation

The American Bar Foundation is the nation's leading research institute for the empirical study of law. An independent, nonprofit organization for more than 60 years, The ABF’s mission is to serve the legal profession, the public, and the academy through empirical research, publications, and programs that advance justice and the understanding of law and its impact on society. The ABF’s primary funding is provided by the American Bar Endowment and The Fellows of The American Bar Foundation.

About the William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law

The William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law, established in 2014, is dedicated to the values of diversity in the legal profession, the creation of communities of equity and opportunity, and the provision of equal justice through law. The Neukom Fellows Research Chair was made possible through generous gifts from William H. Neukom, the Microsoft Corporation, Walmart, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Sidley Austin Foundation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, and The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.

Notes to the Editor: Members of the media are welcome to attend the opening and closing plenary sessions.

Date: June 6, 9:00am-10:15am: Opening Plenary: Overview of Project and Keynote

Presentations: History, Demography, and Law and Policy

Date: June 7, 12:15pm-1:30pm: Closing Plenary

Location: 350 East Superior St., Chicago, IL; McCormick Room 195

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The American Bar Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) organization. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in publications or presentations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation, nor the policy positions of the American Bar Association or its affiliates.

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