Cleary Gottlieb Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month With Paola Mendoza

October 15, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb hosted its National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, “Activism Through the Latinx Lens,” an evening with Paola Mendoza, artistic director of the Women’s March, critically acclaimed director, and author.

Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang delivered welcome remarks, and partner Audry Casusol and James Arturo Aliago, Hispanic National Bar Association regional president in New York and an associate at Calcaterra Pollack LLP, moderated the discussion.

Paola discussed her life as a film director, activist, author, and artist working at the leading edge of human rights, whose journey led her from being an LA gang member to co-founder and artistic director of the Women’s March. She also discussed her most recent book, Sanctuary, that tells the story of a family of Colombian immigrants who manage to make a life for themselves in Vermont in 2032, until deportation forces round up their mother. As an immigrant herself, she emphasized the importance of portraying and ensuring that immigrants and the Latinx community are thriving, not just surviving. She also discussed how her films have tackled the complex issues of poverty and immigration and their effects on women and children in the United States, and how she has tried to humanize those who have been demonized. Paola discussed her newest instillation in New York City, Immigrants Are Essential, that tells the story of seven undocumented immigrants who died of COVID-19, and she was able to capture the beauty of the stories that have often gone untold and should be at the forefront of the Latinx communities and beyond.

Paola was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year in 2017 and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film. She is a co-founder of The Soze Agency and is a co-founder of The Resistance Revival Chorus, the critically acclaimed women’s chorus that believes, “Joy is an act of resistance.”

Cleary is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The firm regularly hosts important cultural events and guest speakers whose presentations afford opportunities to broaden awareness, heighten the level of discussion, and establish a culture of inclusion at the firm. To learn more about Cleary’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.