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2017 commemorative events

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Juan Felipe Herrera image, in oblique sunlight, with colorful mural in background

Juan Felipe Herrera: A Bilingual Poetry Reading and Conversation
October 5th

In 2015 Juan Felipe Herrera was appointed the 21st United States Poet Laureate, the first Mexican American to hold the position. Prior to serving two terms as the US Poet Laureate, he was California’s Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, and was elected Chancellor for the Academy of American Poets (2011). He is the author of 30 books of poetry, novels for young adults, and collections for children, including “Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems" (2008), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award.

Among his many other honors, Herrera has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN / Beyond Margins Award. Two Américas Awards; two Pura Belpré Author Honor Awards; the Independent Publisher Book Award; the Ezra Jack Keats Award; and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Stanford University Chicano Fellows. In 2016, he was awarded the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement at the 36th L.A. Times Book Prizes.

Herrera has served as the Chair of the Chicano and Latin American Studies Department at California State University Fresno and held the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the Creative Writing Department at the University of California, Riverside, where he taught until retiring in 2015.

For more information on Juan Felipe Herrera, please visit the following websites:

Robert Williams Jr. headshot from Bill MoyersNative American Heritage Month

Robert A. Williams, Jr., E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Robert A. Williams, Jr. is the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law and Faculty Chair of the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College (1977) and his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1980). He was named the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (2003-2004), having previously served there as Bennet Boskey Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law. He is the author of THE AMERICAN INDIAN IN WESTERN LEGAL THOUGHT: THE DISCOURSES OF CONQUEST (1990), which received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Center Award as one of the outstanding books published in 1990 on the subject of prejudice in the United States. He has also written LINKING ARMS TOGETHER: AMERICAN INDIAN TREATY VISIONS OF LAW AND PEACE, 1600-1800 (1997) and LIKE A LOADED WEAPON: THE REHNQUIST COURT, INDIAN RIGHTS AND THE LEGAL HISTORY OF RACISM IN AMERICA (2005). He is co-author of FEDERAL INDIAN LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (6th ed., with David Getches, Charles Wilkinson, and Matthew Fletcher, 2011). His latest book is SAVAGE ANXIETIES: THE INVENTION OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION (Palgrave Macmillan 2012). In 2006, Williams received the University of Arizona Koffler Prize for Outstanding Accomplishments in Public Service.

Williams has represented tribal groups and members before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, the United States Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Williams served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals, Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, and as Justice for the Court of Appeals and trial judge pro tem for the Tohono O'odham Nation. He was named one of 2011's "Heroes on the Hill" by Indian Country Today for his human rights advocacy work as Lead Counsel for the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group of Canada before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.

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