PUBLISHED:October 17, 2019

Conference at Duke Law to examine future of Latinx communities in the South


Duke Law School will host the American Bar Foundation’s (ABF) Southern Roundtable November 1-2, which will focus on Latinx communities in the southern United States.

The event is one of five regional symposia and roundtables under the ABF’s project, The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity, and Mobility. Roundtable participants will consist of academics, representatives of foundations, community and social service providers, emerging leaders, policy makers, and journalists, among others. Participants will examine four key drivers of opportunity and mobility: education, economic participation, political mobilization and civic engagement, and immigration.

Trina Jones, the Jerome M. Culp Professor of Law at Duke Law School and an organizer of the Southern Roundtable, notes that the Latinx population in the South has grown rapidly in recent years. She believes that “now is an opportune time for discussions geared toward ensuring that Latinx communities face opportunity and mobility, rather than disadvantage and inequity, in future decades.” The roundtable complements the Duke University Provost’s Forum on Immigration October 16-17 and other events that will occur throughout the year at the Law School. Jones said she is “thrilled to see Duke partner with the ABF and continue its active leadership in critically important conversations.” 

Keynote presentations by Professor Luz Herrera (Texas A & M University), Dr. Pilar Hernández Escontrías (UC Irvine), Dr. Douglas Massey (Princeton University), Dr. Amelie Constant (Princeton University), and Dr. Perla Guerrero (University of Maryland) will take place on November 1, 2019, beginning at 9:15 a.m. in Room 3041 of the Law School.

The “Future of Latinos” research project is devoted to understanding the current condition of Latinos in the United States, the structural barriers that impede full equality and integration for this emerging population, and the sites of intervention that promise to be most effective in promoting opportunity and mobility through law and policy. The project is led by a group of nationally recognized scholars under the direction of Rachel F. Moran and Robert L. Nelson. Moran is the inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law at the ABF and dean emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA Law School. Nelson is the director emeritus and the MacCrate Research Chair in the Legal Profession at the ABF, and professor of sociology and law at Northwestern University. The Southern Roundtable is the third in a series hosted by the American Bar Foundation. The first took place in Chicago in June 2016 and the second at Yale Law School in April 2017. The ABF will also host a roundtable focused on the western United States at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

The Southern Roundtable is supported by Duke University’s Office of the Provost, Duke Law School, the ABF, the Duke Center on Law, Race and Politics, Duke’s Office for Institutional Equity, Duke’s Council on Race and Ethnicity (DCORE), and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke. 

For more details about the roundtable, as well as online registration, please visit the conference website. All plenary sessions are open to the Duke community and to the public. Media interested in attending should contact Andrew Park.

For more information on the “Future of Latinos” research project, please visit the project’s website and Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact