Dean Robert B. Ahdieh addresses Texas A&M School of Law students, faculty and staff regarding activities during Hispanic Heritage Month.
As you may already know, Hispanic Heritage Month is being celebrated across the nation from September 15 to October 15 this year. Here at the law school, we are lucky to be hosting a number of events and displays related to those celebrations, under the leadership of our Latinx Law Student Association (LLSA).
Such programs present a wonderful opportunity for us to embrace the diversity of our community, and to see important questions – even politically sensitive ones – from fresh perspectives. Law school is a place to learn the skills of engaging in an open-minded and respectful fashion with classmates and colleagues from different backgrounds, different perspectives, and different places. It is a place for real conversation – including healthy disagreement, informed debate, thoughtful listening, and reasoned conclusions.
The ability to engage others in that fashion reflects the Aggie core value of respect. It is also at the heart of good leadership and a requirement of being an effective lawyer. It is what makes our thriving community what it is.
In that spirit, I encourage you to explore the wonderful things happening in the building over the coming weeks:
Library and Second Floor Displays
A display of the biographies of Latinos in the U.S. who have changed the law is being featured in the foyer outside the library through Fall break. Among others, that includes Sylvia Mendez, Cecilia Muñoz, Alberto Gonzales, Dolores Huerta, Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, and others. A special thanks to Lilian Velez, Malikah Hall, and all the library staff who helped contribute to this important display.
On the second floor, the Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA) has organized A Memorial to Lives Lost on the Border. It displays a replica of personal items carried by migrants who died during their attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The original piece is called “The Things They Carried” and was a hand drawn poster created by artist John Stobbe for the Colibri Center for Human Rights. (More about the artwork here: https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/immigration-and-church/aim-poster-show-border-crossers-are-real-people-not-illegals.) By displaying these everyday household items, LLSA reminds us that our political discourse intersects with the lives of individual human beings.
Latinx in Law Attorney Panel
To be held on Wednesday, October 2, at Noon, in the Conference Center, this panel is composed of lawyers of Hispanic heritage who will be discussing their experiences in law school and in the profession, including how their heritage shaped their career trajectories. Panelists will include Mark Flores, Veronica Garza, Elizabeth Berthiaume, Daniel Hernandez, and Joe Robles. A special thanks to Amanda Sarmiento for putting this panel together.
LLSA invites all members of the Texas A&M Law School faculty and staff to a mixer on October 10, from approximately 5 to 7PM. (Location and details to come.)
Power of Attorney Clinic/Workshop
On October 26, 2019, this clinic/workshop seeks to assist individuals who need powers of attorney. A special thanks to Lynn Rodriguez and Karon Rowden of the Family Law and Benefits Clinic for working with LLSA students on this important project. Special thanks to Mario Guerra for organizing this event, and to Shawna Smith for coordinating the logistics.
Dia de Muertos Ofrenda
On October 31, LLSA will organize a remembrance and fundraiser for Dia de los Muertos. On the Mexican holiday known as Day of the Dead, families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration. Please feel free to bring photos of your relatives who have passed, to honor their lives.