Diversity Forum Series: Immigration - Debunking the Myths

September 23, 2008, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Room 275, Brandeis School of Law
Sponsored by: Asian Pacific Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, International Law Society, and the Latin American Law Students Association
Registration Cost: The event is free and open to the public.

The first program in the 2008-09 Diversity Forum Series featured:



Pictured from left: Ron Crouch, Gabriela Alcalde, Ron Russell, and Becca O'Neill

More resources:

For more information, contact Robin Harris by email or call 852-6083. 


11:30 PM: A light lunch from Expressions of You will be available.

12:00 PM: Introductions by Becca O'Neill, 3L

  1:00 PM: Question and Answer Session moderated by Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes

Speaker Bios

Gabriela Alcalde

Gabriela Alcalde currently works with various local organizations providing training, presentations, coalition-building, and conducting research and writing on various public health and public policy topics. She is involved with a variety of constituencies and issues that link academic, government, policy, and community efforts both in content and approach. Gabriela’s work is based on a social justice framework, with particular focus on women and Hispanic/Latino communities.


Prior to this, she was Director of the Louisville Metro Office for Women, a public policy and advocacy government office. In this capacity, her focus was on community engagement around a variety of women’s issues, with an emphasis on family violence prevention. She has also worked as an academic researcher, policy analyst, and elementary school teacher.

She holds a Master in Public Health (M.P.H.) with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology from the University of Louisville. Gabriela has various publications on public health and health policy topics and has presented extensively at the local, national, and international level. She is active on local boards and coalitions addressing women’s issues and the Hispanic/Latino community.

Gabriela was born and raised in Lima, Peru and currently lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband and two young children.

Ron Crouch

Ron Crouch is Director of the Kentucky State Data Center located at the University of Louisville. The Kentucky State Data Center is the official clearinghouse for Census data for the state of Kentucky. KSDC provides data on population, housing, education, employment, and other social indicators. Historical data, current data, and projections are provided to help understand trends and issuesfacing individual states and the country as a whole. Ron has developed a national database analyzing trends by both Census regions and states. He also has developed Census profiles for all 50 states including population pyramids by raceand Hispanic origin, a population chart showing population trends by age by raceand Hispanic origin, and tables indicating trends on demographic, social and economic variables.

Ron’s background is in analyzing data and developing information in ways that enhance understanding and utilization. Ron’s vocation is that of “knowledge dissemination”. He averages around 150 presentations per year around Kentucky and across the United States. He has spoken to leadership groups in 27 states in the past 3 years.

He is a graduate of the University of Louisville with a major in Sociology, and minors in Political Science and Economics. He holds Masters degrees in Sociology,MA, and in Social Work, MSSW, from the University of Louisville, and a Master in Business Administration, MBA, from Bellarmine University. He did doctoral work in Sociology at the University of Kentucky.

Ron Russell

Ron Russell began practicing immigration law in 1989. Licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Mr. Russell has successfully represented clients throughout the United States and world in all areas of family-based and employment-based immigration, as well as in asylum applications and removal proceedings.

Mr. Russell is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association and American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) as well as a dedicated advocate. He and a client were featured in a national documentary highlighting the need for immigration reform. He has twice appeared on Public TV and once on Public radio debating the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Since beginning his practice, Mr. Russell has consistently advocated for the rights of immigrants, speaking at rallies and other public events. He also serves on the Board of the Kentucky Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and is a member of the Louisville-based Hispanic Latino Coalition, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

Mr. Russell earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville (1989). He continues his legal education by participating in various immigration seminars and courses and is very active in AILA, serving as Chair of the Mid-South Chapter from 1999 to 2001, on the Board of Governors from 1999 to 2001, and on the 2002 and 2003 Annual Conference Program Committees. He has spoken at national and regional conferences on various aspects of immigration law.