Newsletter  |  Fall 2013
Vol. 17, Issue No. 4

Cheryl Little is always a sought-after speaker, but her calendar was especially full this Fall.  A highlight of her appearances was the Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University’s conference entitled The Story Behind the Politics: Economics, Immigration and U.S. law.  She addressed both the economic and human costs of DHS detention and enforcement policies before an audience of nationally-prominent journalists from around the country and beyond.

Miami’s community leaders convened a conference, sponsored by the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews and moderated by Florida Children’s Initiative Founder David Lawrence Jr., to talk with Miami’s future leaders – current Miami Fellows, Leadership Miami members, and college students – about the strength Miami has and can continue to gain from its diversity.  Ms. Little joined the panel, which included Miami Dade School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami Foundation CEO Javier Soto and Sant La Executive Director Gepsie Metellus.

Lucha Supervising Attorney Michelle Ortiz shared her expertise on the interplay of immigration law and survivors of domestic violence and trafficking in several important arenas.   In October she was a panelist at the Casa de Esperanza National Latin@ Network’s Policy Summit on Domestic Violence in Washington, D.C., sharing her experience advocating for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  Her fellow panelists were Anya McMurray, Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Rosie Hidalgo, Director of Public Policy, Casa de Esperanza.  Other national advocates also attended this Summit.

Ms. Ortiz continues her work as a member of the Violence Against Women Rapid Response Team for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, a national committee of leading experts on laws affecting immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other gender-based human rights abuses.  The committee is dedicated to ensuring that the rights of these survivors are protected in legislative proposals for comprehensive immigration reform.

Ms. Ortiz was appointed Co-chair of the membership committee of the Freedom Network, an internationally recognized coalition of anti-trafficking experts committed to fighting human trafficking by influencing public policy with a human rights perspective.  She also spoke about human trafficking this fall at the National Bar Association’s Annual Conference in Miami Beach.