In January, the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) hosted their annual Awards and Fundraiser Dinner. As a part of the event, two notable Latino entities were highlighted: Chief Justice Paul De Muniz and The Martinez Foundation.
Chief Justice Paul De Muniz became a part of the Oregon Supreme Court in January 2001. Significantly, Chief Justice De Muniz is the first Hispanic to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. Chief Justice De Muniz was elected to the court in 2000, and then unanimously elected as Chief Justice and re-elected in 2006. From 1997 to 2000 Chief Justice De Muniz served on the Oregon Court of Appeals. In addition, Chief Justice De Muniz served on the Judicial Fitness and Disability Commission and the Supreme Court Access to Justice for All Committee. He also chaired the Committee to Implement Recommendations made by the Oregon Supreme Court Tast Force on Racial/Ethnic Issues in the Judicial System which published the report “A Commitment to Fairness” in 1996. We congratulate Chief Justice Paul De Muniz in his achievements and recent recognition from LBAW.
The Martinez Foundation was also selected by LBAW to be awarded the Charity of Choice Award. The Martinez Foundation was founded in 2008 by former Major League Baseball Mariners standout Edgar Martinez and his wife Holli Martinez. After retiring from the Mariners, Edgar and Holli returned to school at the University of Washington. This experience changed their lives and highlighted the importance of education. The two started the Martinez Foundation which provides scholarships to underrepresented populations to pursue a higher education, particularly to help diverse students receive a degree in Education. The idea is that diverse teachers can help to have a positive effect on the success of students of color. These scholarships are used to combat these current statistics: teachers of color in Washington total just 7%; and over 50% of students in Seattle are of color while teachers of color are only 10%. We applaud the Martinez Foundation for their efforts to increase diversity in the classroom, in creating incentives for others to be teachers, and in their efforts to enhance learning for students of color! For more information visit: http://www.themartinezfoundation.org/about.html.