RISE 2019 Conference

Transforming University Engagement In Pre- and Post-Disaster Environments: Lessons from Puerto Rico

Amaris Torres-Rivera

Executive Director

Fundación Fondo de Acceso a la Justicia


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Amaris Torres-Rivera is a community lawyer from Puerto Rico and is currently the Executive Director of Fundación Fondo de Acceso a la Justicia (Access to Justice Fund Foundation), a non-profit organization that funds civil legal aid for low-income and vulnerable families and communities. She also coordinated the Foundation´s Emergency Legal Aid Fund, created a few days after hurricane María struck Puerto Rico with the mission to promote free legal services for hurricane survivors. Torres-Rivera is also the founder and mentor of Pro Bono Democracy and Civic Participation at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law, an organization that encourages law school students to engage in community empowerment efforts through legal education. Torres-Rivera has a B.A. degree in Sociology and a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico, and an Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Certificate from the Global Justice and Human Rights Program from the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Over the past decade, she has dedicated her career on issues related to legal education, community development, eradication of poverty, civic participation and public policies that guarantee human rights, such as housing and education.