The latino policy institute



Dr. Taino Palermo

RWU Law student & President of the Native American Law School Association

Growing up as a military kid, Taino and his sisters were born in many different parts of the world but always called the Bronx, New York home. During the 80’s and 90’s life in New York was distinctly different from the life they knew in Puerto Rico, however their family maintained a strong connection to their indigenous identity as Taino Indians, hence his name. It was important that they never forgot who they were and where they came from.  

In college, Taino participated in after-school tutoring that set him on the path of being an educator and advocate for the coming generations. Taino noticed that for the Latino middle school students he worked with it was hard to believe that someone just like them was able to attend college. He knew then how important it was to serve as a model; but even more so, how important it is for those in underrepresented positions to demystify the pathway to make it easier for those who come after them. This understanding led Taino to a decade-long career in community economic development and education reform. Today, Taino is a part of the Class of 2022 Roger Williams University Law School and serves as the President of the American Indian Law Student Association.

Taino points to the fact that Rhode Island will be a majority Latino state in the not so distant future. He believes that, “we are too numerous in this state and in this country to not flex our collective impact to develop policies and programs that benefit our communities.”

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