¡Adelante a LatCrit XVI in San Diego, California!

by ursavoice

Professor Marc-Tizoc González
Chancellor’s Public Scholar, 2010-11,
Lecturer, University of California Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies

Reading Tania’s reflections on attending LatCrit XV casts my mind back to my own such experience at LatCrit IX, which was held in 2004 in Malvern, Pennsylvania. I too was awarded by LatCrit’s Student Scholar Program for an essay I drafted (and subsequently revised) on the oft-forgotten histories of legal struggles against school segregation in California and Mississippi. I too experienced the distinctive exhilaration of joining a gathering of people who seemed much like me—in striking contrast to the rest of my formal legal education. I too presented on a panel with distinguished scholars who were genuinely interested in my efforts to theorize the practice of law critically and in ways calculated to catalyze social justice struggles today.

In my opinion, LatCrit remains one of the best places to meet others who are dedicated to transforming the law in order to serve socially just ends. We are queer, colored leftist, feminist, disabled people educated critically about the law and striving to live abundantly across the multiple dimensions of power, identity and possibility. We are mostly U.S. law professors but include an important minority of people based in the global South, or who are U.S.-based educators, attorneys, or activists.

The LatCrit website archives the past sixteen years of our experiment in “critical outsider jurisprudence,” in a large tent democratic experiment open to all who care about making the law serve current human needs, in justice for the poor, in the end of the massive exploitation of the planet that characterizes our moment in the world system today.

Do not let the name mislead you. While holding a distinctive history in the origin of the organization (movement?), LatCrit is not exclusive for people who self-identify as Latina or Latino. To the contrary, the express intention of our organization is:

(1) to develop a critical, activist and inter-disciplinary discourse on law and policy towards Latinas/os, and (2) to foster both the development of coalitional theory and practice as well as the accessibility of this knowledge to agents of social and legal transformation.

LatCrit theorists aim to center Latinas/os” multiple internal diversities and to situate Latinas/os in larger inter-group frameworks, both domestically and globally, to promote social justice awareness and activism.

If these ideas excite you, I encourage you to organize a panel on your own coalitional efforts within law student activism, and please submit it by the April 4, 2011 deadline. At the same time, I hope you will look for the call for submissions for the 2011 Student Scholar Program, which will be forthcoming in the next couple of months.

One of my favorite memories of LatCrit XV was the gathering of many past Student Scholar Program awardees with the latest year, and the special panel we organized, Outsider’s Theory Inside: The Next Generation, which brought awardees together from 2003 through 2010, seven of whom have become U.S. law professors in that short time.

As an elder law professor commented, “It turns out that LatCrit developed its own LLM program.” If you are interested in joining a community of scholar activists committed to transforming the law for anti-subordination purposes, please make plans to join us for LatCrit XVI in San Diego.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!