FELIPE CHAVANA, ESQ.,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEWARK LEGAL SERVICES
Felipe Chavana was born in New York City to a Mexican father and a Columbian mother and raised in the South Bronx. Mr. Chavana attended the City College of New York as a member of the SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) Program for disadvantaged students. He then went on to complete his senior year at the University of Puerto Rico. After graduating, Mr. Chavana worked for two years as a public school teacher in New York City. At the urging of his friends and colleagues, Mr. Chavana enrolled in Rutgers Law School and obtained his JD. Mr. Chavana used his legal knowledge to aid the poor and disadvantaged through his work for Legal Services. In 1989, he became the Executive Director of the Essex-Newark Legal Services Program, continuing his work in providing legal aid to those in need.
Prepared by Elizabeth Parker, Associate Archivist.
Hear Felipe Chavana discuss bias and discrimination as they pertain to issues of class and ethnicity:
Text of Audio Quote:
[Text edited for clarity. For a full verbatim transcript of the quote, please see p. 17 of the complete interview transcript.]
"[When speaking about bias and discrimination], I am addressing the political structure of the county... as well as the City of Newark... and the community. So, I just, I think that [the issue of bias and discrimination will] become... in the future... one of... class... instead of one of ethnicity; it'll be one of class. And we see that with the immigrants. That, you know, discrimination will be against people who are–who have less economic means, who are more marginalized, as opposed to–it won't be because they are Latinos. It'll be because they are immigrants. It'll be because they are poorer. It'll be because they don't have the language. It'll be because they can't defend themselves. It'll be because they have a culture that is different; because, of course, as we become part of this environment, we still retain a semblance of our culture, but it's a culture transformed. Where[as] recent immigrants have really the culture of their own country–[it] hasn't yet been, been shaped and adjusted by what they are facing here."
For a more extensive and specific list of peoples, places, organizations and topics discussed in this oral history, please see the Interview Transcript Index.
Access to full verbatim interview transcripts and audio recordings are available by appointment only. Contact an NJHRIC archivist at email@example.com, (973) 733–4791, or via mail, NJHRIC at The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102 with your request.
All uses of these transcriptions are covered by copyright agreement between the interview participants and the NJHRIC at The Newark Public Library. Under "fair use" standards, excerpts of up to three hundred words (per interview) may be used without the NJHRIC's permission, so long as the materials are properly cited (see citation note). Any excerpting beyond three hundred words requires written permission of the Project Archivist, appropriate citation, and may require a fee, especially if this is a commercial publication or production. Under certain circumstances non-profit users may be granted a waiver of the fee. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for copyright questions.
This project was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey
Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National
Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily
represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the
New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
Additionally, any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the Newark Public Library or the New Jersey Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library.
Return to Justice: Latino Oral History page | Return to Main Latino Oral History page | Return to NJHRIC Main page
©2013 The Newark Public Library
5 Washington Street
P.O. Box 630 Newark, NJ 07101-0630