Transformative Latino Leadership Project

The Transformative Latino Lecture Series features speakers such as Julián Castro, who served as HUD Secretary and mayor of San Antonio.ILS Director Luis Fraga interviews Julián Castro.

Under the directorship of Professor Luis Fraga, Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, the Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture series engages prominent figures in politics, entertainment, the arts, business, activism, the church, and other fields who present both their personal experiences and a vision of effective leadership in their sphere of influence.

This lecture series links Notre Dame with the “who’s who” of Latino leaders in the United States. The primary audience for the series is young leaders of all backgrounds and its primary purpose is to attract speakers who inspire and inform them about the possibilities, pitfalls, and principles they should know as leaders in our contemporary world.

 

Recent Lecturers:

 
Thomas A. Saenz 

The President and General Counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), Saenz leads the organization’s efforts to promote the civil rights of all Latinos in the U.S., including defending President Obama’s deferred action immigration initiative before the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2016. He spoke at Notre Dame on Oct 3, 2019.

Rita Moreno

Moreno is a Latina legend of stage and screen and one of only 3 entertainers to achieve the EGOT (winning Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Peabody awards). Her career spanned more than 70 years in Broadway shows, studio films, and TV series. She is best known for her Academy Award-winning performance as Anita in West Side Story, as well as roles in The King and I, The Electric Company and Oz. Currenlty she stars in the show One Day at a Time. She spoke at Notre Dame on February 21, 2019. (Read more about her about her visit.)

Michael Olivas

The William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of the Institute for HIgher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston came to Notre Dame on April 1, 2019. Olivas was an instrumental figure in pushing for University of Texas' top 10% Plan and improving college access for DACA students. He spoke about the legal history of DACA and Deferred Action. (Watch the video of his lecture.)

Luis Alberto Urrea 

The award-winning writer and master storyteller spoke about his exploration of love, loss, and triumph. Urrea is the author of the novels The House of Broken Angels, The Devil's Highway, and The Hummingbird's Daughter. He came to speak at Notre Dame on Oct 2, 2018. (Read about his visit and check out the video of his lecture.)

Dolores Huerta 

Web Dolores Huerta 13882Dolores Huerta spoke at Notre Dame about her experience as an activist and community organizer.

Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) along with César Chávez and is one of the most influential labor activist of the 20th century. She is president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation whose mission is to create networks of healthy, organized communities pursuing social justice through systemic and structural transformation.  She spoke at Notre Dame on February 13, 2018. (Watch the video and read more about Dolores Huerta's visit to Notre Dame.)

Rev. Joseph H. Gomez

Archbishop of the nation's largest Catholic community. Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He spoke at Notre Dame on October 3, 2017. (Watch the video and read more about the Archbishop's visit to Notre Dame.)

Gloria Molina

Retired Los Angeles County Supervisor. First Latina elected to the California State Legislature, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Served in the Carter White House as a Deputy for Presidential Personnel. She spoke at Notre Dame on March 8, 2017. (View Gloria Molina's interview and view her formal conversation with Luis Fraga, Director of ILS)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice discussed a wide range of legal, intellectual, cultural and even personal issues arising from her life and career in a two-hour public conversation at Notre Dame on September 2, 2015. (View Justice Sonia Sotomayor video)

Julián Castro

The San Antonio Mayor was interviewed by his former faculty mentor Professor Luis Fraga in a public forum event titled "American Politics in the 21st Century: Latino Civic Engagement," April 7, 2014. (View Julián Castro interview)