By Jen Furer
NEW YORK CITY — The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) and US Pinoys 4 Good Governance (USP4GG) will present “A Night of Hope”, a charity reception on behalf of the Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (FALDEF) on Friday, March 1, 2013 at the residence of Consul General Mario de Leon, Jr.
The Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund (FALDEF) is a registered 501 (c)(3) not-for profit organization that provides pro-bono legal services to Immigrants in distress due to their origin, status and financial situation. FALDEF was founded in 2008 by a group of lawyers, professionals and community leaders working towards the same cause. After collectively working on a case involving Filipino Immigrants, suffering injustices, they decided to create an organization that was dedicated to serving the migrant community, in particular the Filipino Migrant Community.
Attorney Victor Bolden, Corporation Counsel of the City of New Haven, Connecticut is the evening’s special guest speaker. An expert and advocate of civil rights, when Bolden chose to begin his post as New Haven’s acting
corporation counsel on Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
As Corporation Counsel, Bolden serves as the chief legal advisor of and the attorney for the City and all City officers and departments in matters relating to their official duties.
Bolden was formerly General Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. He served on the Counsel with the law firm of Wiggin and Dana LLP in New Haven, Connecticut. He also served as a Karpatkin Fellow and Staff Attorney at the ACLU, from 1989-1994. Bolden completed his undergraduate studies, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1989.
Mr. Bolden has been a supporter of the Filipino-American community, even prior to the actual incorporation of FALDEF. When the community needed help in defending 10 Filipino nursesto the actual incorporation of FALDEF. When the community needed help in defending 10 Filipino nurses who were wrongly sued, Bolden graciously offered the legal services of NAACP-LDF.
Attorney Sanford A. Rubenstein, senior partner at the Brooklyn law firm of Rubenstein & Rynecki, is one of the evening’s guest speakers. He is one of New York’s most sought after advocates for victim’s rights in personal injury and civic rights matters. Described by the Melvin M. Belli Society of the American Trial Lawyers Association as one of the Nation’s 25 top trial lawyers. Rubenstein’s career has been punctuated by high profile cases in which he represented victims in many tragic occurrences in New York City.
Mr. Rubenstein appears frequently on national and local T.V. news advocating for victims rights. He has appeared as a legal analyst on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Mr. Rubenstein has lectured and participated in panels for the New York Sate Trial Lawyers, The Harvard Law School Criminal Justice Institute, Brooklyn Law School and the Melvin M. Belli Society of the American Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Rubenstein is also an author of a new book entitled, “The Outrageous Rubenstein” , in which he writes about his experience as a media savvy trial lawyer fighting for justice and change.
The evening also features the premiere of a short documentary film by Diane Paragas. Over the course of the last three months Ms. Paragas has been documenting candid interviews from FALDEF clients and Board Members. What started out as a public service announcement, has turned into a short documentary.
Ms. Diane Paragas is an award-winning documentary film director and commercial director. Her films have appeared on Showtime, BET, Discovery, MTV, Bravo and PBS. . In 2012, Paragas produced and directed the feature documentary, “Brooklyn Boheme”, which premiered in February on SHOWTIME networks and features Spike Lee, Chris Rock, to name a few. “Brooklyn Boheme” recently won Outstanding TV Documentary at the Black Reel awards.
Ms. Paragas is also the founder and owner of NYC based Civilian Studios. Paragas is a supporter of FALDEF and has lent her talent by offering to do a short documentary about the organization. She is currently working on her first feature film Yellow Rose, a film loosely based on her life growing up as the only Filipina-American in her small Texas town. For details visit www.yellowrosefilm.com for details.
“A Night of Hope” charity reception begins at 6:30pm and ends at 9:00 p.m. A suggested donation of two hundred dollars, made out to “FALDEF”, will be appreciated and accepted at the door, by mail or online. For details please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.faldef.org.
FALDEF is also hosting a press club meet and greet event with Hon. Judge Lorna G. Schofield, the first Filipino-American in the history of the United States to serve as an Article III federal judge.