(l-r) Dean Renée McDonald Hutchins, Anya Marino ’12, Cesar Enrique Nava ’25, Gabriela Kahrl ’08
The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Latinx Law Students Association (LLSA) on Oct. 12 held its annual Dean José Bahamonde-Gonzáles IMPACTO Award ceremony celebrating Latinidad pride and the accomplishments of the Latinx legal community and students.
This year’s IMPACTO Award recipient is Anya Marino ’12, director of LGBTQI equality at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.
LLSA faculty advisor Gabriela Kahrl ’08, co-director of the Chacón Center for Immigrant Justice at Maryland Carey Law, introduced Marino, thanking her for her “many sacrifices, perseverance, and leadership.”
A 2012 graduate of Maryland Carey Law, Marino has been a trailblazer and tireless advocate for LGBTQI+ rights. She was the first openly transgender woman of color to teach at Harvard Law where she instructed the LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic. Before Harvard, she served as deputy legal director for the ACLU of Florida, where she oversaw the legal department’s voting rights litigation and litigated LGBTQI+ and First Amendment cases. She was also the first openly transgender woman of color to serve in any senior legal position throughout the ACLU’s federation of national and affiliate offices.
Today, Marino continues her work at the National Women’s Law Center where she drives the center’s legal and policy efforts to protect and advance the rights of LGBTQI+ people. Last year, the National Hispanic Medical Association honored her as a trailblazer advancing LGBTQI+ health equality, and Liaison International honored her as one of seven women who shattered the glass ceiling in higher education.
A mentee of Dean José Bahamonde-Gonzáles for whom the award is named, Marino recalled in her remarks the inspiration and help she received from him as she faced the struggles associated with being a transgender woman of color and committed to a legal career helping their shared community. She also spoke about the violence and hate endured by the LGBTQI+ community, urging the audience to have courage. “Every day we dare to live authentically and unapologetically is an act of courage. It’s an act of faith that our lives have meaning and it’s an act of defiance against those who intend to do us harm,” she said. “Living authentically is essential because it helps change people’s hearts and minds."
This year, LLSA debuted a new tradition, creating the Young Luminary Award to honor a recent graduate for consistently showing their pride for the Latinidad, participating in LLSA, promoting their cultural heritage, and creating relationships that have furthered LLSA’s community.
First-generation lawyer Erick Marquina ’21 is the inaugural recipient. During law school, Marquina served as LLSA’s vice president, as well as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law. Since graduating Order of the Coif, he has continued his deep connection with LLSA, leading review sessions and other helpful events for 1Ls, and offering individual mentorship to Latinx students. He also coached LLSA’s advocacy team in their first appearance last spring at the National Latino Law Students Association moot court competition. Marquina is an attorney in the Department of Justice’s torts branch.
LLSA President Cesar Enrique Nava ’25 emceed the event. A staff editor on the Journal of Business and Technology Law and an executive board member of the Criminal Law Association, Nava is also a first-generation law student and college graduate.
Summing up the spirit of the night, Nava told the audience that “being Latino means constantly fighting as hard as we can and never giving up so we can make the millions of sacrifices that brought us to this position worthwhile.”