Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality
CLORE Director Prof. Natalie Gomez-Velez (center) with fellows Angel Melendez ('16) and Guillermina Passa-Quevedo ('16).
2014-2015 CLORE Fellow Angel Melendez discusses statistics that reflect both progress and persistent inequality in the Latino/a community
Why CLORE? CLORE maintains a focus on the issues affecting the Latino/a community in the United States. We seek to develop progressive strategies for legal reform, as well as advocate for the expansion of the civil rights for the fastest growing ethnic group in the country.
We are educators, reformers, scholars, and advocates. And now, more than ever, our work is needed.
For the first time ever, a greater share of Hispanic recent high school graduates are enrolled in college than whites.
In addition, the Hispanic high school drop out rate continues to fall at a rate faster than any other racial or ethnic group.
These milestones are a validation of the hard work organizations like CLORE have striven to achieve. However, despite these accomplishments, there is much work to be done. Notwithstanding the fact that Hispanics maintain a higher share of high school graduates enrolled in college than whites, they continue to lag behind when it comes to earning a bachelors degree, and are less likely to enroll in a four-year college, attend a selective college, and enroll full time.
Further, although great strides have been made in the reduction of Hispanic drop out rates, Hispanics still maintain the highest drop out rate of any racial or ethnic group, with foreign born Latinos sharing the highest drop out rate <pdf> of all. With Latinos now representing a fourth of all public school students, we at CLORE believe that we have a moral imperative to strive to insure that these students are allotted the same opportunities to reach their full potential as their peers.
In addition to educational attainment and quality, issues of massive wealth disparities along racial and ethnic lines must be placed at the forefront, as their intertwinement with educational disparity issues runs deep.
Although Hispanics make up around sixteen percent of the population, they only own 2.2% of the wealth. Similar to black families, Hispanics have been subject to decades of predatory lending and bloated fees from financial institutions that have prevented the accumulation of wealth. The disparity can also be traced to low and unfair wages, especially for Hispanic women <pdf>.
Lastly, many of these Hispanics families are living under a dark cloud of insecurity, as Hispanics maintain the highest percentage of uninsured individuals <pdf> of any racial or ethnic group in the United States.
After taking a look at the big picture, the answer to “Why CLORE?” becomes quite obvious. CLORE is necessary because of there is a need. A need to bring together scholars, activists, lawyers, and the general public to educate, strategize, and reform the system for the betterment of all. This is the mission of CLORE.
The Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE) focuses on issues impacting the Latino community in the United States, with the goal of developing progressive strategies for legal reform. The Center seeks to educate lawyers, law students, scholars and the general public on the status of Latinos and Latinas, as well as to advocate for expanded civil rights in the areas that affect the growing Latino population.
CLORE is located at the City University of New York School of Law and is believed to be the first of its kind in the world. The Center hosts events, creates bibliographies, sponsors forums, and develops courses that highlight access to the legal system and explore issues affecting the Latino community. The Center also pursues civil rights litigation opportunities and work to increase the involvement of the private bar in matters positively affecting the Latino community. The Law School's library is the repository for the Center's Special Collection on Latinos and the Law.
CLORE brings together scholars and advocates for discussions and strategic planning, while making available its growing archives on Latino rights to the legal community, activists, elected officials and others in the strongest position to help Latinos and Latinas improve their position in the United States and world society.