The Justice Project - Newark Public Library

The Justice Project

The Justice Project

The Justice Project

“Photographs.” Amilkar Velez–López – Papers, Puerto Rican Community Archives at the Newark Public Library. OZ_SZ 4.

This collection of ten oral histories is focused on the theme of justice, as expressed through the life experiences from prominent Latinos who have focused their efforts in the state of New Jersey. The understanding of justice is one of the central tenets of this project, and in addition to the contributions of those intimately involved in what may be traditionally understood as the “justice system,” such as lawyers, police officers and F.B.I. agents, these interviews also focus on the perception of justice from the perspective of an ex–offender, an immigrants’ rights advocate, a social worker, a labor union director, an election superintendent and a television producer. The understanding of justice in the Latino community of New Jersey that emerges from these interviews is finely nuanced, reflecting such varying topics as the inequities in the justice system that are arguably the result of race, language, and class; the importance of positive perceptions of Latinos in mass media to facilitate access to justice; and the importance of active community involvement in the struggle for equal access to all rights and services guaranteed by this country’s and state’s legal and justice systems.

Prepared by Elizabeth Parker, Associate Archivist. September 17, 2012

The NJHRIC at the Newark Public Library would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge, in addition to the credited participants of this project, the hard work of archival assistant Juber Ayala, and intern, Giselle Torres.

Access to full verbatim interview transcripts and audio recordings are available by appointment only. Contact an NJHRIC archivist at, (973)733–4791, or via mail, NJHRIC at The Newark Public Library, 5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102 with your request.


Israel Caraballo, Jr. | Juan Cartagena, Esq. | Felipe Chavana, Esq. | Luis Del Orbe | Lizette Delgado-Polanco | Laura Freytes | María “Charo” Juega | Maritza Raimundi–Petroski | William Sánchez | David Velázquez

Israel Caraballo, Jr.

Israel Caraballo, Jr.
Deputy Chief,
Newark Police Department

  • Law Enforcement — Police Departments
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Discrimination — Employment
  • Education
Juan Cartagena, Esq.

Juan Cartagena, Esq.
President and General Counsel,
LatinoJustice, PRLDEF

  • Criminal Justice System
  • Civil Rights
  • Discrimination
  • Voting Rights — Voter Intimidation
  • Multilingual / Bilingual Issues
Felipe Chavana, Esq.

Felipe Chavana, Esq.
Executive Director,
Essex-Newark Legal Services

  • Law — Legal Assistance to the poor
  • Education — Affirmative Action programs
  • Community Involvement
  • Racism
Luis Del Orbe

Luis Del Orbe
Prisoner Advocate and Graduate Student at Rutgers University

  • Community Organizations — Prisoner Advocacy — Hispanic Americans for Progress, Inc. [HAP]
  • Education — Bilingual Education/Literacy
  • New Jersey — Correctional Facilities
  • Social Work — Prisoner Re–entry
Lizette Delgado-Polanco

Lizette Delgado-Polanco
Executive Director,
Service Employees International Union,
New Jersey State Council

  • Unions — Labor Organizing
  • Politics — Latino Involvement
  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Democratic National Convention, 2012
  • Dominican Republic — Political Reforms
Laura Freytes

Laura Freytes
Former Superintendent of Elections,
Passaic County, New Jersey

  • Voting Rights
  • Puerto Rican Day Parade — Paterson, NJ
  • Police Brutality
  • Discrimination
  • Latino Issues — Importance of national identification
María Juega

María “Charo” Juega
Founder and first Chairperson,
Latin American Legal Defense and Educations Fund, Inc. (LALDEF)

  • Immigration / Immigrants — Undocumented Residents
  • Multicultural Understanding
  • Women’s Issues
  • Community Involvement
Maritza Raimundi–Petroski

Maritza Raimundi–Petroski
Director of Family Support Services,
Latino Outreach & Parenting Programs,
The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey

  • Puerto Rico — Socio–Economic and Political Status
  • Cultural Competence
  • Social Work — Family Services
  • Immigration — Undocumented Immigrants
  • Prisoner Advocacy
William Sánchez

William Sánchez
Executive Producer of
Images/Imágenes & Hispanic Youth Showcase New Jersey Network

  • Puerto Rican Riots, 1974 — Newark, NJ
  • Media —Positive portrayals of Latinos
  • Neighborhood Displacement — Gentrification
  • Community Involvement — Organizing
  • Newark, NJ — Politics
  • Fine Arts — Latino cultural events
David Velázquez

David Velázquez
Assistant Special Agent in Charge,
Newark Division, F.B.I.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Discrimination — Employment
  • Crime
  • Diversity — Workplace

New Jersey Council for the Humanities

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.