New York Daily News: Judicial bias crimes in New Jersey: Rapes excused, seemingly on the basis of race

When I read about the recent appellate ruling in the case of a drunken 16-year-old boy who had forced himself onto an intoxicated 16-year-old girl in a basement in New Jersey, it brought me back to my years as a public defender. I was one of the original eight attorneys who opened the Bronx Defenders back in 1997. My clients were poor African Americans and Latinos who couldn’t afford an attorney, so I was appointed to their cases.

Click here to read full story

AM New York: MTA must do the right thing

Advocates for the disabled feel vindicated after a state Supreme Court justice recently allowed a class-action lawsuit to proceed against the MTA over inaccessible subway stations. As a disabled subway rider, I, too, feel abandoned by the MTA. There are no elevators in the station closest to my home in Midtown East, and the stairs can be impossible to navigate after my disability.

Click here to read full story

How Latina Friendships Turn Into Sisterhoods

Growing up, I looked up to mami’s closest friends. They were full of interesting stories about escapades from their respective native countries. All of them somehow managed to work, take care of their families, and send something back to family members who hadn’t immigrated. Some of them were even entrepreneurs, starting businesses at home, selling Avon products or empanadas. I looked up to these women. I called them tías or titis, and they showered me with affection. I could count on them giving me an extra serving of dessert, and as I got older, they offered advice on things I was embarrassed to ask my mom.

Click here to read full story

Why Creating a Medical Résumé Was the Best Way I Could Take Care of My Family Members, and Myself

As a first-generation Latina, I’m used to having to translate for my Spanish-speaking family members when I accompany them to their doctors’ appointments. In fact, I was the one who most often took my Abuela to the doctor. Despite writing down all of her medications, the dose she took, and why she took them on a piece of paper, my Abuela insisted on carrying all of her pills in a shopping bag when she went to see the doctor.

Click here to read full story

Popsugar: Growing Up Colombian and Puerto Rican — Which One Was I?

When you’re born to parents from different countries (or in my case, one country and one US territory), who are you? My Puerto Rican father was proud of his heritage, and my Colombian mother spoke of the beautiful country she left behind to migrate to the US. All my cousins were fully one nationality or the other. I was the lone wolf. Although I spoke Spanish until I learned English in public school in Queens, I felt like the gringa who didn’t fit in.

Click here to read full story