Lourdes Maria Rosado
I am a public interest attorney who also is a student of writing. Upon graduating from college in the 1980s, I pursued a career in publishing and journalism, including working at Newsweek magazine for a stint as a reporter-researcher. But I became dissatisfied with journalism, went to law school, and have been advocating on behalf of at-risk children ever since. I am passionate about my work but missed writing for myself. So about ten years I enrolled in a short story workshop at the University of Pennsylvania and I haven’t put down my pen since.
I draw on many experiences in my life for stories and essays, including the following:
- I am half-Cuban and half-Puerto Rican. My mother, who is from Havana, and my father, who was born in Ponce, met in New York City in the 1960s, married, and had me and my sister. Growing up as a Nuyorican/Cubana child influences and shapes some of my fiction. As an adult latina, I am concerned about and have opinions on a wide range of current issues such as diversity in higher education, affirmative action, immigration reform, and the role of Hispanics in our nation’s political future.
- I grew up in New York City, but not in the Manhattan that you see on Sex in the City or other television shows. My family lived in the outer boroughs and, like many of my friends, classmates and neighbors, we were working-class immigrants who were striving for more. The New York City of my childhood, which was not as affluent but equally as magical, is fast disappearing as the soaring rent and other costs push all but the wealthiest out to the fringes. I feel the need to memorialize what made it special to me before it is gone.
- For the last 20 years, I worked as a legal advocate on behalf of indigent children. I litigated major civil rights cases, argued before appellate courts on key children’s right issues, and defended children and adults charged with crimes. More importantly, I encountered adults and children who faced unfairness, hardship, trauma with resilience and humor, but also sometimes with defeat and surrender. Earlier this year, I took a new position in New York City, heading up a group of civil rights lawyers. I am now litigating a much broader range of issues as our mandate is to enforce laws that protect people from discrimination in any form, including race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, and gender identity. It is exhilirating to be learning so many new areas of the law and to be working with such dedicated attorneys every day. After the recent presidential election, we will be facing a lot of new challenges.
I split my time between Manhattan and my family home outside of Philadelphia, where I live with my wonderful husband of 27 years and our darling son, who is a senior in high school and will soon make us empty-nesters. Both are incredibly supportive of anything I want to do, and for that I am very fortunate, as I am to have you as a reader.