September 18, 2004

VOTING RIGHTS SPECIALIST TO SPEAK AT WHITMAN COLLEGE

    WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- A nationally known expert on Latino voting rights and civil rights will present a public lecture on Friday, Sept. 24, on the Whitman College campus.

    Joaquin Avila, who is currently a visiting assistant professor of law at Seattle University School of Law and a MacArthur Fellow, will present “Political Integration: Rescuing the Second Reconstruction” at 8 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium, near Boyer Ave. and Otis Street, Whitman College campus. His lecture, which is being held in conjunction with the national one-year anniversary of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, is free and open to the public and is being sponsored by the office of the president, the department of politics and the Intercultural Center.

    Avila currently teaches constitutional law, voting rights and Latinos and the Law at the Seattle University School of Law. He earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1970, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1973, where he was the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review case and comments editor. He also served as a clerk to Justice James Fitzgerald, Alaska Supreme Court.

    After his clerkship, Avila joined the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, initially as staff attorney from 1974 to 1976; then as associate counsel from 1976 to 1982; and finally as president and general counsel from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he established a private practice, focusing exclusively on protecting minority voting rights. As a nationally recognized minority voting rights expert, Professor Avila taught courses at the University of California/Berkeley, University of Texas and UCLA schools of law. He also received a John D. and Catherine R. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1996 in recognition of his work in the area of voting rights.

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156

Email: parishlj@whitman.edu