Writing, Mentoring, and Even Battling Lurking Variables
Those that have the good fortune to read this anthology, which was written by many of the country's leading lights in the fields of immigra- tion policy, legal history, and law and education, will grow to appreciate the significance of professor, and now president of the University of Hous- ton, Downtown, Michael Olivas. These readers will likely be inspired by his pathbreaking legal scholarship, his prophetic legal and political analy- sis, which is often a decade or more ahead of its time, and his sorely needed counter to the skewed and narrow-minded dominant narrative of Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Many will be at least equally inspired by his Sisyphean yet undaunted struggle to make our legal acad- emy and our country more diverse, welcoming, and merit-based. Thus, unlike the countless stereotypical Hollywood depictions of the lazy and uneducated Latina or Latino, the dean of the Latino/a law profes- soriate has fought inequity with the proverbial pen, has used his keen intellect, cogent analysis and tireless energy to pen foundational and prescient works, and has engaged in aggressive and perhaps even pointed activism that has literally changed the face ( or faces) of our profession, but which also occurred with significant personal costs. For many of us in our ivory towers, we can only dream of having even a fraction of the impact Professor Olivas has had in his career. He has changed countless lives of academics, young and older immigrant families, and too many others to count in this essay. Each nevertheless will undoubtedly remain indebted, grateful, and proud to have such a force of nature championing their important causes, which in all likelihood would have gone unaddressed had he not become their champion. One of his most successful and inspiring mentees, and champion in his own right, Dean Kevin Johnson, aptly illustrated in the introduction to this volume how Olivas has championed sorely needed accurate Latina/o narratives. For me, Professor Olivas has also armed us with the courage to "walk the walk" with him in our own writings and our respective community engagement, and our efforts have been supported by the knowledge that an all-powerful figure in our profession will always "have our backs," or "support us," as perhaps our Anglo friends would prefer to describe it.
Carolina Academic Press
Cultural pluralism, Emigration and immigration law, Law teachers, United States, Biography, Olivas, Michael A.
Immigration Law | Law | Legal Profession
Ediberto Roman, Writing, Mentoring, and Even Battling Lurking Variables, in LAW PROFESSOR AND ACCIDENTAL HISTORIAN: THE SCHOLARSHIP OF MICHAEL OLIVAS 263, 274 (Ediberto Roman, ed., Carolina Academic Press 2017).