The Civil Rights Struggle Is Still Alive

By: Jan A. Robles Berríos

Ana I. Rivera Lassén, President of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, at her keynote address in UPR-Mayagüez.

Ana I. Rivera Lassén, President of the Puerto Rico Bar Association, at her keynote address in UPR-Mayagüez.

      The President of the Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico (CAPR), Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, gave a keynote address at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus on March 4, 2014. It was about queer sexualities.

      Her keynote, titled “Del otro la’o del derecho y el derecho del otro la’o” (Defending Rights from the Other Side and the Other Side of the Defense of Rights), was part of the V Coloquio del Otro La’o: Perspectivas sobre Sexualidades Queer(5th Colloquium : Perspectives about Queer sexualities),” held at UPRM March 4-6, 2014.

      According to an article published by Dr. Moisés Orengo Avilés, the first Coloquio del Otro La’o took place on March 28, 2006.

      Rivera Lassén’s keynote address took place in the Ramón Figueroa Chapel Amphitheatre at Carlos Chardón Building. Although the keynote was schedule to start at 10:30 a.m., the moderator, Dr. Lissette Rolón, introduced the speaker in a cozily decorated stage close to 11:00 a.m.Rolón discussed Rivera Lassén’s numerous accomplishments as a lawyer, writer and spokesperson for numerous causes.

      Rivera Lassén began her presentation by recounting the process she faced to become President of the Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico. She is a lesbian, Afro-Puerto Rican and the third woman to lead CAPR. This combination made her fight against prejudices to become who she is. “This demonstrates all the way left to walk and reflects a microcosm of Puerto Rico,” said. Rivera Lassén.

       She proceeded to mention all the fights women pursue to have the same rights as men have today. As an example, she mentioned the right to vote and to be eligible for public office. With this example, Rivera Lassén proposed that “rights are progressive and are able to change” because of situational moments.

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