November 6, 2020 (New York) – In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Proskauer hosted a virtual panel, Latinx: A Conversation with Paola Ramos and Ed Morales About Identity and Culture. Los Angeles litigation partner Susan Gutierrez served as the moderator for the event alongside guest speakers Paola Ramos and Ed Morales, who held a conversation about the usage and history associated with the term “Latinx.” Paola is an American journalist, writer, and served as the Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Ed is an American author, filmmaker and lecturer who teaches at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Watch the video for a closer look into the conversation:
Reflecting on usage of the term “Latinx,” multiculturalism and identity, some of the Proskauer community members in attendance shared their insights following the event.
Los Angeles labor project assistant Christian Cordova-Pedroza remarked, “The socio-cultural term Latinx highlights the multi-faceted and evolving nature of personal and collective identity. Latinx offers a replacement for the words Latino and Latina and helps to challenge conventional thinking, break entrenched stereotypes, assert personal identities, and think beyond gendered practices. Ultimately, it offers a window for anyone, not just folks who identify as Latinx, to think about how experiences and circumstances that include immigration, colonialism, religion, language and many others shape identities.”
New York legal support resources supervisor Eileen Cruz is a first-generation American with parents from the Dominican Republic and great-grandparents from Spain. She asserted, “As such, embracing individuality became my everyday normal. I am proudly different and Latinx captures some of the ambiguity I feel surrounding culture and ethnicity.”
Most attendees shared the sentiment that one’s identity involves constant exploration and there are various ways to think about it.
New York labor senior counsel Roberta Chevlowe credited the panelists for their authenticity and honesty. She also commented on their important reminder that "We often find ourselves trying to fit into one ‘box,’ but identity is complex and we should not be required to."
New York corporate social responsibility coordinator Max DeLott found the discussion around the term Latinx very enlightening. “I appreciate all of the speakers’ honesty in sharing how the terminology we are often given to describe ourselves can be exclusionary to parts of our own ethnicity, heritage or culture that we feel are essential to the makeup of our identity. It was also very interesting to hear how people across the Hispanic and Latinx communities have differing viewpoints on the use of the term Latinx.”
This event was organized by Proskauer’s Diversity & Inclusion team in collaboration with HLLAG. HLLAG serves as a resource to further the recruitment, career development and retention of Hispanic/Latin(o/a/x) lawyers at the firm by offering a supportive social and professional network, promoting training opportunities and other resources, and providing informal mentoring connections.