Vilma Martinez, Attorney and Ambassador

Happy Birthday to attorney and human right advocate Vilma Martinez, born in San Antonio, Texas.  Growing up as a Mexican American in Texas, Martinez was discouraged by her so-called educators from entering college.  Fortunately, Martinez ignored the prejudiced advice, graduated from the University of Texas and then earned a law degree from Columbia University.   Martinez has received numerous national awards for her work in advancing civil rights for all Americans.  Martinez served as president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).  In 2009, Martinez was appointed as the US’ first woman ambassador to Argentina.

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