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CWU “Latinx ‘Firsts’” Topic for Oct. 25 Roundtable Discussion

What is it like to be the first member of your community to hold public office? How does it Being the First Posterfeel to be the only person of color to attain a position of governmental authority? Last spring, 12 Central Washington University students sought to answer these questions by interviewing Latinx pioneers in public service.

The students gained insights from federal and state judges, lawyers, victim advocates, and other public servants. Some were highly-recognizable public figures including Chief Justice Ricardo Martinez, the first Latino judge in the U.S. District Court for western Washington and Justice Mary Yu, the first Latina and first openly-LGBTQ person appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court.

Join the student researchers for a roundtable discussion entitled, “Being the ‘First’: Latinx Pioneers in Public Service” on October 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Museum of Culture & Environment.

Students stand next to Guadalupe GamboaThe conversation will consider the importance of culture and tradition in shaping values and ethics, as well as barriers created by racism and other forms of discrimination. Moreover, with Latinx people running for public office in increasing numbers—particularly in the 2018 election—what will the new generation of Latinx “firsts” experience?  And what did these CWU students learn from those who came before?  

Latinx Firsts in Public Service, the new Window on Central exhibition, will also be on display.

For more information visit or email, or call the gallery at 509-963-2313. The MCE is free and open to the public Wednesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Parking on CWU campus is free after 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays.

Pictured above: CWU students Yasmeen Herrera-Flores and Samantha Saavedra stand next to lawyer and Washington State Human Rights Commissioner Guadalupe Gamboa.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,

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