The Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center in partnership with the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law presents Cultural Competency in the Legal Community. Max Rodas and Magistrate Pablo Castro will discuss cultural competence issues concerning Latino/a and other minority clients. The presentation will include an overview of working with minority clients; a history of the Latino/a community and examples of cultural competency. There will then be a panel of speakers including attorneys from minority communities to continue the discussion about working with clients from minority cultures. Following the presentation and panel discussion, the panel will host a question and answer session.
For the last 14 years, Rodas has served as the Founder and Executive Director of Proyecto Luz, an HIV/ AIDS, faith-based initiative on the West Side of Cleveland and seven years ago became the Executive Director of Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center, a larger umbrella organization addressing the root causes of systemic poverty and health inequities in Cleveland’s Cudell Neighborhood. Under his leadership, Nueva Luz has evolved from an idea to a faith- based organization providing assistance to over 3,000 individuals both in Cleveland and Lorain, Ohio. He is a member of Cleveland Hispanic Roundtable, the Hispanic Alliance Inc. and has piloted cross cultural conversations between African Americans and Latinos (entitled Cleveland Black & Brown Dialogues) as it relates to health and social injustice. Rodas is a native of Guatemala, Central America, holds a graduate degree from Olivet Nazarene University and has been ordained by the Church of the Nazarene.
Magistrate Castro served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Cleveland, and as a Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney before being appointed to the bench in 2007. A Mexican-American, Castro has served his community by offering mentorship, improved opportunities, and education. He is currently the President of the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association, Co-Chair for the Board of Elections, a board of trustees member for the Alzheimer’s Association, and on the board of trustees for the Cleveland area Hispanic Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program. He is a 2001 graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and is a member of the board of trustees for the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Alumni Association and the a member of the Dean’s Diversity Council.