MALSA honors civil rights leader and former law school professor Cruz Reynoso
March 4, 2016 - Tamara Williams
Justice Cruz Reynoso
The Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA) will present the Honorable Justice Cruz Reynoso of the California Supreme Court (retired) with the 2016 Fighting for Justice Award at Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town on April 16, 2016 at 6 pm.
Reynoso is known for being a strong force for change and a passionate voice for our nation’s disadvantaged. An award-winning documentary was created about Reynoso’s extraordinary life. Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice portrays the sting of justice Reynoso felt as a child of farm workers and how he worked throughout his life to eradicate discrimination and inequality in an effort to make the promise of the American dream a reality for all.
Reynoso taught at the UNM Law School from 1972-1976 and has returned often to present guest lectures and attend special events.
This year's Banquet is one of great historical significance to the UNM School of Law and the New Mexico legal community and an event that all members of New Mexico Legal Community cannot afford to miss!
Breaking barriers, fighting for change
Throughout his career, Reynoso broke racial barriers. When he joined the UNM Law School faculty in 1972, he was one of the first Hispanic professors, along with Dean Emeritus Leo Romero. He taught at the law school until 1976, when he was invited to serve on California’s Third District Court of Appeal. A few years later, Reynoso was appointed to the California Supreme Court and was the first Hispanic to serve on that court.
In 2000, Reynoso was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor for his efforts to address social inequities and his public service. The inscription on the medal reads, “Through his efforts to address social inequity in his rural community, his leadership of the pioneering California Rural Legal Assistance program, his tenure as the first Latino on the California Supreme Court and his service on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he has been a strong force for change and a passionate voice for our nation's disadvantaged.”