Hispanic National Bar Association
President-Elect to Speak at Judicial Branch Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Hartford Attorney Rafael A.
Santiago, President-Elect of the Hispanic National Bar Association, will offer the keynote
address at the State of Connecticut Judicial Branchs Third Annual Hispanic Heritage
Celebration, Thursday, September 28, at the Legislative Office Building.
The event, which features lectures and seminars from local
and national legal experts as well as an awards ceremony and musical performances, begins
at 9 a.m. in the Atrium of the Legislative Office Building and is open to the public.
"This program provides a forum for celebrating the
culture and contributions of this nations Hispanic population," said the Hon.
Robert C. Leuba, Chief Court Administrator. "Through interesting and provocative
lectures and a sampling of Hispanic music and cuisine, this celebration not only provides
participants with educational and historical material but also with the chance to learn
more about the culture."
Santiago, a member of Robinson & Coles Corporate,
Institutional Finance and International Practice Groups, currently is President-Elect of
National Bar Association and a founding member and member of
the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association. He received his B.S.
in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University in 1973 and his Master of Business
Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of Connecticut in 1983.
Santiago will address the need for more Hispanic
representation in the legal community, from attorneys, to state and federal judges, to the
Justices of the United States Supreme Court.
"It is clear that the faces and the voices of Hispanic
Americans will continue to shape this nation in the decades to come," said Santiago.
"Latinos need to be aware and must continue to prepare for the leadership roles that
they must undertake to continue forging the cultural, political and social landscape of
the American society."
Following a continental breakfast from 9:30 to 10 a.m., the
Hon. Carmen L. Lopez, Presiding Judge of Juvenile Matters in the Fairfield Judicial
District and master of ceremonies for the event, will open the days program in Room
2C of the Legislative Office Building. Judge Leuba will then offer greetings and introduce
the Hon. Carmen E. Espinosa, who will conduct the Awards Ceremony, in which three Judicial
Branch employees will receive recognition.
Honorees are: Hilda Nieves, of Hartford, Chief Probation
Officer, Manchester Supervision Unit of the Eastern Region; Carmen Echevarria of Norwich,
Clerk, Juvenile Matters in Willimantic and Angel Acosta of Hamden, Assistant Juvenile
Detention Supervisor in the Fairfield Judicial District.
Santiago will speak at 11 a.m. in Room 2C following an
introduction by the Hon. Eddie Rodríguez, Jr., Presiding Judge, Criminal Division in the
Fairfield Judicial District.
Following the keynote address, a buffet lunch will be served
in the Museum of Connecticut History at 231 Capitol Avenue from noon until 1 p.m.
Afternoon workshops, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Rooms A, B and
C of the Legislative Office Building, include presentations by Judge Lopez, who will offer
a comprehensive overview of the legal process regarding abused and neglected children in
the juvenile court system; Felix M. Padilla, Ph.D., a native of Puerto Rico and visiting
scholar in the Department of American Studies at Yale University, whose lecture is
entitled, "We Need Culture to Save Our Children and Community"; Lili Palacios,
Trial Attorney for the and a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association and President
of its Northeast Region I, who will speak on the need for Latino lawyers, barriers for
Latinos in getting through law school and the positive contributions of Latino lawyers in
the United States.
From 2:30-3:30 p.m., the Hon. Antonio Robaina, a Superior
Court Judge for Juvenile Matters in Hartford, will speak on the history of the U.S.
embargo to Cuba while Ruth Glasser, Ph.D., an independent historian, will talk on the
history of Puerto Rican farm workers in Connecticut.
During the celebration, Hartford area guitarists Carlos
Hernández Chávez, a native of Mexico who has lived in Connecticut since 1967 and David
Giardina, will provide various styles of Hispanic music.
For information, please contact Ginny Apple, Manager of
Communications at 860-757-2270. For questions in general regarding attendance at the
event, contact José René Martínez, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 860-757-2270.