Five women standing in from of sign saying "Latina Futures"

Amplifying Latina Voices in Law and Policymaking

By 2050, Latinas are expected to make up 13% of the U.S. population and account for 11% of the labor force. Yet Latinas comprise only 2.5% of all U.S. lawyers, account for less than 1% of all partners in law firms and have never served on the highest court in 44 states. To address this gap in Latina representation and leadership in law and policy, the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute; Latina Futures, 2050 Lab; Latina Lawyers Bar Association; and UCLA Chicanx Latinx Law Review hosted the inaugural Latina Futures: Transforming the Nation Through Law and Policy symposium. The event, which took place Jan. 20 and 21 at UCLA’s Luskin Conference Center, brought together nearly 400 Latina scholars, attorneys, politicians, policy leaders and students from across the country to explore today’s legal and advocacy challenges and opportunities through a Latina lens. “This weekend, we are replacing the status quo with forward-thinking, accurate and necessary contributions from Latina leaders now and well into the future,” said Sonja Diaz, founding executive director of the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute. Diaz co-founded the Latina Futures, 2050 Lab with Veronica Terriquez, professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin and director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center. Terriquez expressed hope that the symposium would inspire participants to continue their advocacy and leadership. “We have the potential to inform social, political and economic changes that benefit the majority of this nation,” she said. “This is a long game, and it builds on the work that came before us.” — Cristian Rivera

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