Horizonte Banner

March 2, 2017


Host: José Cárdenas

Arizona Supreme Court Justice John R. Lopez IV

  |   Video
  • We'll talk to Arizona Supreme Court Justice John R. Lopez IV, one of the new justices appointed by Governor Doug Ducey.
Guests:
  • John R. Lopez IV-Arizona Supreme Court Justice
Category: Legislature   |   Keywords: Supreme Court, Governor, justices,

View Transcript
JOSE CARDENAS: LAST YEAR, TWO NEW ARIZONA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WERE SWORN IN FOR THE HIGH COURT AFTER THE GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY EXPANDED THE COURT FROM FIVE JUSTICES TO SEVEN. REPUBLICANS ANDREW GOULD AND JOH. R LOPEZ THE 4TH WERE APPOINTED TO THE NEW SEATS AFTER THE GOVERNOR ADDED THE POST. JOINING ME NOW IS ONE OF THE NEW AZ SUPREME COURT JOHN R. LOPEZ THE 4TH. JUSTICE LOPEZ IT IS AN HONOR TO HAVE YOU ON THE SHOW. YOU KNOW, AS WE NOTED IN THE INTRO, IT WAS AN EXPANSION FROM FIVE TO SEVEN. SO THE PRACTICAL QUESTION IS WAS THERE ROOM ON THE BENCH FOR YOU AND WHAT ABOUT CHAMBERS?

JOHN R LOPEZ: FORTUNATELY THERE WAS ROOM ON THE BENCH FOR SEVEN JUSTICES. THE COURT WAS ORIGINALLY CONSTRUCTED IN THE COURTROOM AND IN CHAMBERS TO ACCOMMODATE SEVEN JUSTICES AND I BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNOR MAY HAVE JOKED HE WASN'T EXPANDING THE COURT BUT FILLING IT TO THE PROPER AND INTENDED SIZE.

Jose: THERE WAS ALWAYS TALK THERE WOULD BE SEVEN. I WANT TO TALK ABOUT YOU ABOUT BACKGROUND AND CAREER AS A LAWYER IS FAIRLY WELL DOCUMENTED AND IMPRESSIVE. BUT TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND, WHERE YOU GREW UP, AND WHERE YOU ARE FROM.

JOHN R LOPEZ: SURE. I WAS BORN IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS AND RAISED IN HOUSTON, TEXAS AND WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN WHERE I RECEIVED MY UNDER GRADUATE. I AM FROM TEXAS AND MY FAMILY ON BOTH SIDES GO BACK MANY GENERATIONS IN TEXAS.

Jose: THEY PREDATE THE CONQUEST OF TEXAS FROM MEXICO OR THE TEXAS-?

JOHN R LOPEZ: VERY POSSIBLY.

Jose: I READ YOU MAJORED IN POLITICAL SCIENCE AND MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES AND AFTER YOU GRADUATE D FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AUSTIN YOU WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO IN THE SAME I AREA. WHY THE SWITCH FROM THAT TO LAW?

JOHN R LOPEZ: I THINK AS A YOUNG MAN, I IMAGINED I WOULD GO INTO PUBLIC SERVICE AND AM A NOTION I WOULD GO INTO THE FOREIGN SERVICE. I WAS INTERESTED IN MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS SO IMMEDIATELY UPON MY GRADUATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS I ENROLLED IN A PH.D PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO WHICH WAS A NOTORIOUSLY LONG PROGRAM ACADEMICALLY. AFTER TWO YEARS OF THE THREE YEARS OF COURSE WORK PROCEEDING THE DISSERTATION, I HAD A CHANGE OF HEART AND DECIDED THAT WASN'T WHERE I WANTED TO SPEND THE NEXT FIVE OR SIX YEARS. I HAD AN INTEREST IN LAW AND DECIDED TO LEAVE GRADUATE SCHOOL, RELOCATED TO ARIZONA AND THEN ENROLLED IN LAW SCHOOL AT ARIZONA STATE.

Jose: AND YOU GRADUATED 1998 AND CLERKED FOR A JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT SO IN A WAY YOU GONE HOME. YOU STARTED YOUR CAREER AS A COMMERCIAL LITIGATOR, YOU WERE THERE 3 YEARS THEN SWITCHED TO THE U.S. ATTORNEY OFFICE AFTER THREE YEARS. WHY IS THAT?

JOHN R LOPEZ: I HAD ALWAYS HAD A LONGING TO GO INTO THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND HAVING SPENT THREE YEARS AT THE LAW FIRM AND REALLY ENJOYED THE WORK I WAS DOING AND THE PEOPLE I WAS WORKING WITH, I THINK THERE WAS A BIT OF INERTIA IN MY CAREER AND ONE DAY ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 OUR NATION WAS SUBJECTED TO A HISTORIC TERRORIST ATTACK. ON THAT MORNING, I WAS ATTENDING A LITIGATION MEETING AT THE LAW FIRM AND I HAD DECIDED RIGHT THEN AND THERE I WAS FINALLY GOING TO MAKE THE CHANGE IN MY CAREER AND GO INTO THE PUBLIC SERVICE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE ATTACK, WITHIN WEEKS, I STARTED APPLYING TO DIFFERENT GOVERNMENT AGENCIES BECAUSE I HAD MADE THE DECISION TO MAKE A CHANGE. AS FORTUNE HAS IT, I RECEIVED AN OFFER FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY OFFICE, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HERE IN PHOENIX. MY FAMILY WAS HERE, MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER AND IT MADE SENSE TO STAY HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. BUT FROM THAT POINT FORWARD, I COMMENCED MY CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE. A CAREER WHICH I BELIEVED I WOULD ALWAYS PURSUE.

JOSE CARDENAS: IN A REAL TWIST OF FAIT YOU END UPPED BEING IN IRAQ A FEW YEARS LATER. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

JOHN R LOPEZ: INDEED. I ALWAYS CONSIDER THAT A REMARKABLE TWIST OF FAITE. I WAS HARD ON MYSELF WERE A NUMBER OF YEARS ABOUT STARTING A GRADUATE PROGRAM AND NOT COMPLETING IT. I NEVER VIEWED MYSELF AS SOMEONE WHO STARTED SOMETHING AND DIDN'T FINISH IT. BUT THE IRONY WAS WHILE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, I HAD TAKEN A NUMBER OF ADVANCED COURSES IN MIDDLE EASTERN POLITICS AND SPECIALIZED IN IRAQ POLITICS, LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE PARTY OF SADDAM HUSSEIN AND YEARS LATER WHILE I WAS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN THE WAKE OF THE U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WAS ASKED TO SET-UP A TASK FORCE TO ASSIST THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT IN PROSECUTING SADDAM HUSSEIN AND HIS TOP REGIME OFFICIALS. SO PERHAPS BECAUSE OF MY SPECIALIZED KNOWLEDGE I WAS IDENTIFIED AS SOMEONE THE DEPARTMENT WAS INTERESTED IN SENDING AS ONE OF THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THIS TASK FORCE AND THAT IS HOW I ENDED UP IN IRAQ FROM ARIZONA AS A FEDERAL PROSECUTOR.

Jose: YOU HELD A NUMBER OF HIGH PROFILE POSITIONS WITH WHITE COLLAR CRIME BEING A PARTICULAR AREA. ANY EXPERIENCES YOU CAN SHARE ABOUT BEING AT THE STATE ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BEFORE GOING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE?

JOHN R LOPEZ: I ENJOYED MY CAREER AT THE US ATTORNEYS OFFICE. A LOT OF WORK IS DONE THERE ON BEHALF OF ARIZONA AND THE UNITED STATES. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF MEMORABLE CASES. I PROSECUTED IMMIGRATION OFFCIES, AND NARCOTICS, WHITE COLLAR AND PUBLIC CASES. THERE WAS A CASE THAT STOOD OUT AND HAD A VERY REAL IMPACT ON AN ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF ARIZONA POLITICS INVOLVING THE BORDER. WHEN I WAS A FAIRLY NEW AUSA, I PROSECUTED AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SMUGGLING RING. IT INVOLVED A COYOTE WHO LED GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS ACROSS THE BORDER IN YUMA IN THE SUMMER AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING. HE WAS SIMPLY EXPLOITING THE FOLKS AND TAKING THEIR MONEY. WHEN THEY RAN LOW ON WATER AND BECAME LOST, HE ABANDONED THE GROUP. BORDER PATROL AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT EVENTUALLY CAUGHT UP TO HIM BUT IN THE PROCESS OF ABANDONING THIS GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS, TWO CHILDREN NEARLY DIED. ONE OF THEM FLAT LINED ON A BORDER PATROL HELICOPTER AFTER THEY WERE RESCUED. ALTHOUGH IT WAS ONE COYOTE BEING PROSECUTEDM THE LEVEL EXPLOITATION AND THE INSIGHT TO THE HARDSHIPS AND RISKS THAT SO MANY FOLKS FROM MEXICO TAKE TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES LEFT A PROFOUND IMPACT.

Jose: YOU BECOME SOLICITOR GENERAL. THE STATE'S TOP LAWYER IN APPELLATE MATTERS. THEN YOU END UP ON THE ARIZONA SUPREME COURT. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE YOU WANTED TO BE A JUDGE?

JOHN R LOPEZ: I HAD, THROUGHOUT, PROBABLY THE LATTER HALF OF MY CAREER, I ALWAYS RECOGNIZED THAT BECOMING A JUDGE WOULD BE A LOGICAL CAREER PROGRESSION. BUT IT ALWAYS SEEMED SORT OF A REMOTE ASPIRATION. IT WAS UNTIL VERY RECENTLY, IN FACT UNTIL I WAS A SOLICITOR GENERAL THAT I BELIEVED MY TIME WAS NEARING AND I WAS READY TO TAKE ON THAT IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY. I HAD SPEND THE BULK OF MY CAREER, NEARLY 13 YEARS AT THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S DEALING WITH FEDERAL LAW. I FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO SERVE SOME PERIOD OF TIME WHERE THE DEALING EXCLUSIVELY WITH STATE LAW AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES. AFTER I HAD BEEN IN THE JOB OF SOLICITOR GENERAL, I FELT THAT I HAD BEGUN TO DEVELOP THE EXPERTISE TO ROUND OUT MY KNOWLEDGE. IN ADDITION TO THAT, JUST THE RESPONSIBILITIES IN MY JOB I FELT I WAS READY TO TAKE ON THE IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITY OF BEING A JUDGE.

Jose: JUSTICE LOPEZ, I KNOW YOU HAVE ONLY BEEN ON THE BENCH FOR ABOUT SEVEN WEEKS SO THERE IS NOT TOO MUCH YOU CAN SAY THERE. WE ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME. CAN YOU GIVE US A QUICK, OVERALL ASSESSMENT, WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE ARIZONA SUPREME COURT AND I AM HOPEFUL WE CAN HAVE YOU BACK ON THE SHOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS IN MORE DEPTH.

JOHN R LOPEZ: I HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS. I HAD SOME INSIGHT INTO THE WORK OF THE COURT BECAUSE AS YOU ALLUDED TO I DID CLERK FOR AN ARIZONA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ALTHOUGH IT WAS 18-19 YEARS AGO. IT HAS BEEN A VERY PLEASANT SURPRISE. ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE BEEN VERY COLEEGIAL. IT REALLY IS A TIGHT KNIT FAMILY EVEN THOUGH WE ALL COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. I THINK WE ALL SERVE THE COMMON PURPOSE OF UPHOLDING THE RULE OF LAW. IT HAS BEEN AN ABSOLUTE PLEASURE. I CAN TELL YOU ONE ASPECT WHICH I HAD BEEN WARNED ABOUT BY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES WHO ARE AND HAVE BEEN JUDGES IS I SHOULD BE AWARE THERE WAS GOING TO BE ISOLATION AND THAT WOULD PROBABLY CAUSE HARDSHIPS. I CAN SAY AFTER THE FRANTIC PACE OF MY DUTIES AT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AS SOLICITOR GENERAL THAT AT LEAST FOR THE LAST 7 WEEKS THE ISOLATION HAS BEEN WELCOME.
Jose: THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE" TO TALK ABOUT IT. AS I SAID, WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOU BACK TO DISCUSS THIS IN MORE DETAILS BUT FOR NOW CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU. COMING UP NEXT, FIND OUT WHY A DELEGATION OF SENATORS FROM MEXICO VISITED ARIZONA.

Chicanos Por La Causa

  |   Video
  • Chicanos Por La Causa Preisdent and CEO, David Adame talks about CPLC's political empowerment and economic development efforts with Mexico.
Guests:
  • David Adame - Chicanos Por La Causa President, CEO
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: economics, politics, Mexico,

View Transcript
JOSE CARDENAS: THE DELEGATION OF SENATORS FROM MEXICO WERE HERE TO MEET WITH OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS TO TALK ABOUT MEXICO-U.S. RELATIONSHIPS. JOINING ME NOW IS DAVID ADAME. PRESIDENT AND CEO AT CHICANOS POR LA CAUSAYOU HAVE BEEN DOING A LOT OF INTERNATIONAL STUFF THE LAST FEW WEEKS. TELL US HOW THIS CAME ABOUT.

DAVID ADAME: FOR 50 YEARS WE HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY AND I FELT WE NEEDED TO EXTEND IT BEYOND ARIZONA AND MEXICO AND TOOK ON THE ISSUE OF WORKING MORE WITH MEXICO. OUR VISION IS ECONOMICALLY EMPOWERING AND POLITICALLY EMPOWERING IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE FELT POLITICALLY NOT ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES BUT THE MEXICAN NATIONALS THAT ARE LIVING HERE, WE NEEDED TO WORK WITH MEXICO CLOSER AND MAKE THEM MORE RESPONSIBLE.

JOSE CARDENAS: THIS WAS PARTICULARLY IN LIGHT OF THE ELECTION RESULTS AND CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT THE NEW PRESIDENT WOULD BE DOING IN TERMS OF IMMIGRATION; CORRECT?

DAVID ADAME: ABSOLUTELY. OUR STAFF WENT DOWN TO MEXICO CITY, THE GROUP THAT STARTED OPERATION IMMIGRANT. THEY INVITED THE DELEGATION INCLUDING THE COUNCIL OF MEXICO CITY TO ADDRESS THE POLICY LEADERS, SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. IT WAS PRETTY EYE OPENING THAT THEY WERE REALLY LAID INTO, I LIKE TO SAY, INTO THE LEADERSHIP OF MEXICO SAYING --

Jose: THAT WAS HERE WHEN YOU HAD THEM HERE?

DAVID ADAME: FIRST ONE WAS IN MEXICO CITY AND THEN THEY SAID WE NEED TO DO THIS IN THE UNITED STATES. WE HOUSED THE FIRST ONE IN THE UNITED STATES AND HAD ABOUT SIX SENATORS FROM MEXICO, SEVEN REPRESENTATIVES, FEDERAL REPRESENTATIVES, AND 40 MEXICAN NATIONALS WERE BROUGHT HERE TO ADDRESS THEM DIRECTLY. THEY CHALLENGED THEM AND SAID YOU CANNOT FORGET ABOUT US. IF DEPORTATION DOES HAPPEN HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SUPPORT US? OUR CHILDREN THAT GOT EDUCATED HERE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE YOU GOING TO ACCEPT THEIR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR IF SOMEONE HAS A SPECIAL LICENSE OF JOB TRAINING ARE YOU GOING TO ALLOW THAT RECIPROCITY. THEY WERE CONCERNED AND WANTED TO MAKE SURE THEY WERE BEING SUPPORTED EVEN IF THEY HAPPEN TO STAY TO SAY NO, LOOK, DON'T FORGET ABOUT US. WE ARE STILL HERE. SUPPORT US. I THINK THE OPERATION IMMIGRANTS REALLY SERVED THE PURPOSE. THERE IS PLANS TO DO ANOTHER ONE. I THINK THERE IS GOING TO BE ONE IN SEATTLE, WASHINGTON AND I THINK GOOD THINGS HAPPENED ON THIS. THERE IS BILLS BEING PASSED IN THE CONGRESS OF MEXICO TO ACCEPT EDUCATION DEGREES. ONE OF THE GOOD THINGS THAT HAPPENED IS THEY PASSED MONEY TO GO THROUGH THE CONSOLOTE COUNCILS HERE TO SUPPLY RESOURCES IF SOMEBODY NEEDS LEGAL SUPPORT.

Jose: YOU HAD SOME HIGH POWERED INDIVIDUALS WITH THE AMBASSADOR OF MEXICO TO THE UNITED STATES WAS IN ONE OF THE PANELS AS I UNDERSTAND. AND YOU HAD FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE IN THE FOX ADMINISTRATION. HIS INVOLVEMENT IS A SEPARATE GROUP, RIGHT?

DAVID ADAME: YES, IT IS A NON-POLITICAL GROUP THAT LOOK DO IS WORK WITH GROUPS LIKE US. IT IS A NON-PROFIT SO NO PARTY AFFILIATION JUST HOW WILL WE SUPPORT THE MEXICAN NATIONALS FROM MEXICO. I HAD A CHANCE TO GO BACK AND MEET WITH A COUPLE OTHER SENATORS WHO DIDN'T HAPPEN TO COME TO THESE MEETINGS. THERE IS A LOT OF STUFF GOING ON WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION OF THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS TALK ABOUT TRADE WARS. THERE HAS BEEN TALKS ABOUT WALLS. THERE HAS BEEN TALKS ABOUT STUFF THAT IS NOT POSITIVE AND THERE IS CONCERN AND UNEASINESS. THEYRE GETTING READY FOR EVERYTHING. THEYRE HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT IF THERE IS A TRADE WAR DO THEY NEED TO PLAN TO WORK WITH OTHER COUNTRIES? ONE BIG THING WAS MEXICO IS A BIG PURCHASING OF CORN FROM THE USAND THEY ARE MAKING PLAN B AND IF THEY SHOULD GO TO ARGENTINA WHERE THEY HAVE A BETTER MORE POSITIVE TRADE RELATION, FOR EXAMPLE.

Jose: DAVID I KNOW THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TOPIC THAT WERE DISCUSSING BUT YOU’VE BEEN DOING SOME OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF IN MEXICO AS WELL. WE WILL PUT A PICTURE UP HERE OF ONE OF THE MEETINGS THAT YOU HAD IN MEXICO CITY. NEXT TO HIM IS THE AMBASSADOR THERE.

DAVID ADAME: YES, THE AMBASSADOR, AND THEN SOME OF THE SENATORS FROM MEXICO. ONE FROM JALISCO AND I BELIEVE THE OTHER ONE FROM GUNAJUATO.

Jose: BUT OTHER THINGS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING ON INCLUDING SOME DISCUSSIONS WERE ON THE OLYMPICS.

DAVID ADAME: YES, WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CREATE COLLABORATION AGREEMENTS. WE HAVE ONE WITH THE BIG MEXICO CITY JUNAM, WE SIGNED ONE WITH THE OLYMPIC GROUP OF MEXICO. WAS EXCITING AND A LITTLE NERVE-WRACKING. THEY HAD ABOUT 30 DIFFERENT NEWS AFFILIATES. IT IS A WAY TO SHOW IT IS A WAY OF BUILDING BRIDGES NOT WALL. WE HAVE ONE WITH THE BIG UNIVERSITIES I MENTIONED. WE ARE STARTING TO GET SUPPORT FROM SOME OF THE FOUNDATIONS TELEVISA, ESTECA. AND MOST RECENTLY THE FOUNDATION IS TALKING TO US ABOUT SUPPORT FOLKS WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR CITIZENSHIP BUT NEED SOME FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.
JOSE CARDENAS: BUT THERES A LOT MORE TO TALK ABOUT, WE NEED TO HAVE YOU BACK ON THE SHOW TO DISCUSS. WE ARE OUT OF TIME BUT THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON "HORIZONTE."

Get to Know: Dr. Tiffany Lopez

  |   Video
  • We'll talk to Dr. Tiffany Lopez, the new director of ASU School of Film, Dance, & Theatre.
Guests:
  • Dr. Tiffany Lopez-Director of ASU School of Film, Dance, & Theatre
Category: Culture   |   Keywords: ASU, theatre, dance,

View Transcript
JOSE CARDENAS: IN TONIGHTS GET TO KNOW SEGMENT, THE ASU HERBERGER INSTITUTE HAS A NEW DIRECTOR FOR DANCE AND THEATER. JOINING ME IS DR. TIFFANY LOPEZ. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

TIFFANY LOPEZ: I GREW UP OUTSIDE OF LOS ANGELES NEAR SANTA BARBARA HALF MY LIFE AND THE OTHER HALF IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA.

Jose: HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE ARTS?

TIFFANY LOPEZ: I WAS LUCKY WITH TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES TO GROW UP IN CALIFORNIA IN THE 1970s BEFORE PROPOSITION 13. WHEN THERE WERE A LOT OF FREE PUBLIC ART PROGRAMS AND I HAVE WONDERFUL MEMORIES ABOUT GOING TO THE LIBRARY AND DISCOVERING BOOKS AND RECORDS AND EVEN POSTER ART AND GOING INTO THE PARKS IN THE SUMMERTIME AND BEING ABLE TO STUDY WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO HAD PLAYS AND DIFFERENT HAND CRAFTED ART PROJECTS THEY WANTED TO SHARE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN. IT A VIBRANT PART OF MY MEMORY OF GROWING UP.

Jose: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OUR ACADEMICS IN ARTS.

TIFFANY LOPEZ: I AM WHAT I CALL AN ACCIDENTAL ACADEMIC. I ENDED UP IN COLLEGE BECAUSE I HAD GONE TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE BY ACCIDENT. I LEFT HOME AT 15 AND STARTED WORKING AT A FAST FOOD RESTAURANT. I WAS VERY ASPIRATIONAL AND DECIDED I DIDN'T WANT TO JUST WORK IN FAST FOOD BUT ONE DAY OWN A RESTAURANT AND THE FRANCHISEE I WORKED FOR SAID YOU NEED COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND BUSINESS TO START THINKING IN THAT DIRECTION. AND AGAIN, IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME, THE RIGHT PLACE.

Jose: YOU WERE THE FIRST IN YOUR FAMILY TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL AS I UNDERSTAND.

TIFFANY LOPEZ: I WAS THE FIRST TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, FIRST TO GO ON TO COLLEGE. AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE, I STUDIED BUSINESS. LIKE A LOT OF FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS I THOUGHT YOU WENT TO COLLEGE TO BE A DOCTOR OR LAWYER OR BUSINESS PERSON. I KNEW I WASN'T GOING TO BE A DOCTOR OR LAWYER. I HAD PROFESSORS SAYING YOU HAVE A LOT OF TALENT IN THE HUMANITIES AND YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT TRANSFERRING. I SAID TRANSFER WHERE AND THEY SAID THE STATE UNIVERSITY. YOU BELONG STUDYING IN THE HUMANITIES. WITH THAT, I DECIDED TO PUSH MY EDUCATION FURTHER AND WAS LUCKY TO BE PAIRED WITH A MENTOR AND A POET BY THE NAME OF OLIVIA CASTIANO. SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA HAS A VERY VIBRANT HISTORY AROUND VISUAL ARTS AND POETRY. I GOT TO STAY WITH HER AS AN EXTRODINARY MENTOR, MEET PEOPLE LIKE JOSE MONTOYA THE MURALIST AND STUDY WITH AN UP AND COMING NOVELIST AT THE TIME NAMED SANDRA SISNAROS AND WORK AND MEET WITH RUDOLPH NIA.

Jose: ANOTHER FAMOUS NAME IN LITERATURE. AS I UNDERSTAND, DIFFICULT FAMILY EXPERIENCES. YOUR FAMILY BACKGROUND PLAYS A ROLE IN THE FOCUS YOU HAVE WHEN IT COMES TO THE ARTS.

TIFFANY LOPEZ: YES, MY RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY LOOKS AT HOW ARTISTS AND WRITERS USE THEIR WORK TO STAGE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT VIOLENCE AND TRAUMA SO WE CAN TAKE THINGS WE OFTEN FEEL ARE PERSONAL, EVEN SHAMEFUL PERHAPS, AND TELL STORIES SO THAT AS A PUBLIC WE CAN BEAR WITNESS TO THE STORIES AND CHANGE THOSE HISTORIES IN OUR CULTURES, OUR FAMILIES AND OUR INDIVIDUAL LIVES. I LEFT HOME AT THE AGE OF 15 FLEEING A HOUSE THAT WAS DRIVEN BY ALCOHOLISM AND VIOLENCE AND AT THE AGE OF 15, I STILL THINK IT IS AN EX EXTRAORDINARY THING I WAS ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING OUT OF THOSE CIRCUMMSTANCES. BUT THAT’S WHAT MADE ME LEAVE HOME AND WORK. I CREDITED THE ARTS WITH SAVING MY LIFE. THEY GAVE ME A VEHICLE INTO IMAGINING OTHER WORLDS. THEY GAVE ME A VOICE. I THINK VIOLENCE TAKES OUR AWAY OUR SENSE OF VOICE AND THE SENSE THAT OTHER PEOPLE CARE ABOUT OUR LIFE AND CIRCUMSTANCES. READING ART AND IMAGINING MOVIES AND FILMS I MAY WRITE ONE DAY. I THINK IT PLANTED THE SEED THAT NOT ONLY COULD I TAKE IN OTHER STORIES BUT MAYBE ONE DAY ID BE ABLE TO CREATE STORIES.

Jose: YOU WERE THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF THE FIRST LATINO/LATINA ART PROJECT IN RIVERSIDE AND INVOLVED IN THE SHAKESPEARE AREA. WE DON'T HAVE MUCH TIME BUT TELL US WHAT YOU ARE DOING AT ASU AND WHAT WE CAN EXPECT IN THE YEARS TO COME?

TIFFANY LOPEZ: IVE RECENTLY JOINED ASU AS THE DIRECTOR OF FIOLM, DANCE AND THEATRE. PART OF MY MISSION IN JOINING ASU IS TO EXPAND THE MISSION OF ACCESS AND DIVERSITY AND EQUITY THAT IS WHAT AT THE HEART OF PRESIDENT DR. MICHAEL CROW AND OUR DEAN IS ADVANCING WITH THE INITIATIVE OF PROJECTING EVERYONE'S VOICE. HIS GOAL IS TO SEE EVERY STUDENT GOING OUT INTO THE COMMUNITY BUT THAT WE HAVE A TEAM OF INCREDIBLE ARTISTS BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN ASU AND THE COMMUNITY. THIS MARCH WILL HAVE LOUIS SOUFARO WHO’S A MCCARTHER GENUIS FELLOW, AND A PLAY WRIGHT AN OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL. AN AUTHOR OF A PLAY CALLED MEXICO DAY IN LOS ANGELES. HE WILL BE JOINING US AT ASU FOR THREE DAYS IN MARCH AT ASU FOR STORY TELLING AND CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY. AND PART OF MY VISION IS TO BUILD ON INTIATIVES SUCH AS THAT.

Jose: A LOT OF EXCITING THINGS COMING UP. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THEM AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA.

TIFFANY LOPEZ: THANK YOU SO MUCH. IT IS A PLEASURE.

Jose: THAT IS OUR SHOW THIS EVENING. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING. FROM ALL OF US HERE AT "HORIZONTE" AND YOUR ARIZONA PBS STATION, I AM JOSE CARDENAS. GOOD NIGHT.
"HORIZONTE" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS. MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.