April 21st, 2011
Latino Heads U.S. Commission On Civil Rights

For the first time ever, a Latino is head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights — that’s the organization that serves as a clearinghouse for civil rights violations on the federal level. Martin Castro, the Commissioner of the USCCR since March, Castro is the son and grandson of Mexican immigrants and is an attorney.

As such Castro was involved with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, as well as several other Latino-oriented arts and advocacy organizations. He lives and works in Chicago, and:

Marty also was chair of the Judicial Nominations Commission for the Northern District of Illinois, where he assisted U.S. Senator Richard Durbin in the selection of federal judges. Marty was instrumental in the appointment of the first and second Latino federal judges in Illinois history. In addition, Marty served for six years on the board of the Chicago Public Library, by appointment of Mayor Richard M. Daley.

In 2001-2002 Marty ran in the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress in Chicago’s Fourth District. In endorsing him, the Chicago Tribune said that Marty has “buil[t] an impressive résumé of community activism. He has given back to the community by getting involved in a wide variety of public service causes.”

And in what I think is also awesome, one of his two sons is named Nezahualcoyotl.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Photo Courtesy IL Human Rights Commission]


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