“The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever.”
-SC Justice Sonia Sotomayor
It is a privilege and honor to have been elected President of the CHBA, an organization that has been not only a launching pad for my career, but more importantly, a family. When thinking of what it means to me to be Latinx, “Family” is one of the first things that comes to mind, which led me to the organization’s vision for 2020: “Elevating our Community.” Because for us, la comunidad is family.
Our mission statement “Serving Colorado, Promoting Justice” informs every action we take as an organization. To that point, elevating our community is the most effective and equitable way in which we can serve Colorado and promote justice. 2020, as an election year and the start of a new decade is full of potential for our community, yet rife with those that would do harm against nuestra familia. As attorneys it is our obligation to stand up and elevate our community, and in doing so we help bring justice and equity for all.
Hispanic/Latinx total approximately 23% of the state’s population, yet we make up a relatively small percentage of the legal community. Despite some progress, Hispanics/Latinx remain conspicuously absent from the halls of power—from the bench and prosecutors office, to equity partnership and general counsel positions. And while we hold the highest growing buying power in the nation, we are not on the boards of many of these organizations. Put simply, we do not have sufficient, consistent, respected and valued seats at decision-making tables.
As an organization and family, we must harness our collective power in elevating one another, fighting to build a stronger pipeline for Hispanic/Latinx in the law. In stoking that ember in each of us, we help embolden young attorneys to be unapologetically themselves in the boardroom, courtroom and beyond- to the benefit of our familia. The CHBA will continue facilitating college, high school, and elementary school pipeline to law school initiatives; encouraging diversity in all sectors of the legal community; providing pro bono legal services to those in need; and facilitating mentorship and sponsorship for young attorneys. Our partners in this mission are critical to our success. Here in Colorado, we see the legal community banding together to recognize and address systemic inequality: our Supreme Court is actively working to diversify the state court bench; law firms of all sizes sit among us as sponsors of the CHBA’s work and mission; and mentoring and pipeline programs serving students at all levels are thriving, with hundreds of attorney volunteers.
We ask you, our members and supporters, to continue to stand with the CHBA in 2020 and beyond to Elevate our Community!