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January 18, 2022 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Aracely Muñoz

Aracely Muñoz serves as Director of the Lawyers Network and the Washington, D.C. Office for the Center for Reproductive Rights. Aracely serves as Co-Chair to the Section's Rights of Women Committee.

Aracely Muñoz, CRSJ Rights of Women Committee Co-Chair

Aracely Muñoz, CRSJ Rights of Women Committee Co-Chair

Where are you from? How have your experiences here, or throughout your upbringing, influenced your passions and aspirations today?

I grew up in Chicago, in a working-class immigrant family.  I am strongly rooted in my cultural, community and my family.  Seeing the joys, challenges, and many times the injustices in my community has influenced the work I do and have done throughout my professional career.  Specifically, the pursuit of equity and justice for those who are marginalized.   What I do is also motivated by the gratitude I have for what I have been able to do and who I have been privileged to serve, and the desire to make sure others have the opportunities and abilities to succeed and serve in the ways they want to.  

What drives you?

The desire to be the change I want to see in the world. 

What is one thing most people do not know about you that you feel they should?

I am pretty open about who I am and telling people what they should know about me so I am not sure what else I can say.  

When you look back, what is it that you want your advocacy and professional career to stand for?

The pursuit of a more just and equitable world.

What is one issue which you care about or work most on and why?

Gender and racial equity, these threads run through everything I do. 

What do you feel is the greatest challenge facing this issue today?

Apathy and the idea it will never be me, my community, or my country.  

In what corners do you find the greatest support in propelling these issues you work on? In other words, who are your most frequent allies?

Other diverse professionals, perhaps it is because our communities are the first to bear the brunt of inequity, injustice and xenophobia and it is very close and present in our daily lives.  

What CRSJ project(s) are you working on? Or, what have you undertaken in CRSJ that you found the most rewarding to have worked on? Are there any upcoming events or projects you want us all to know about?

Co-chairing the Rights of Women Committee is very rewarding, and I feel privileged to co-lead this group with my co-chair and other committee leaders.  We have been working collaboratively this year to develop and present programs both for the Section and Association-wide, on cases and legislation impacting women.  We have also supported the ABA in taking action on key Supreme Court cases impacting women via amicus briefs.  Finally, we continue to work on fostering relationships with other ABA entities that are interested in issues impacting women and gender equity.  

Aracely Munoz

Director of the Lawyers Network in the Washington, D.C. Office for the Center for Reproductive Rights

Aracely Muñoz serves as director of the Lawyers Network and of the Washington, D.C. office of the Center for Reproductive Rights. In her role as director of the Lawyers Network, Aracely forges relationships with legal leaders across the United States to increase understanding, engagement, and support of women’s reproductive health issues. She also oversees the daily operation of the Center’s D.C. office. Prior to joining the Center, Aracely served as vice president for strategic development for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) where she successfully led the development and implementation of all external programs and research focusing on corporate diversity and inclusion and best practices in the legal profession. Prior to MCCA, Aracely served as associate general counsel and large law programs director for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). While at ACC she conducted a wide range of compliance and ethics education programs for corporate legal departments and promoted member engagement. She has also served as the director of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, where she led the establishment of the Commission and its seminal report and policy recommendations. She simultaneously held the role of the ABA’s director of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Aracely started her legal career as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago’s Department of Law, and a civil litigation attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.  Aracely serves on the board of directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), serving as first vice chair and member of its executive committee. She is a commissioner for the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, serving as co-chair of its Legislative Affairs Committee and its Margaret Brent Awards Committee, which awards the ABA’s highest honor to women lawyers. Aracely previously served as a member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Governmental Affairs and the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities. Aracely also serves as chair of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s (HNBA) Government and Public Interest Law Section and its Committee on Public Sector Lawyers. She is past chair of the HNBA’s Commission on Latinas in the Legal Profession. Aracely received her BA and MA from the University of Chicago, and her JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.