In this interview conducted during the 2018 all-class Black Alumni Reunion, Yvonne Ruiz, Brown University class of 1977, discusses her time on campus as well as her subsequent legal career.
Ruiz begins by sharing some family background including her parent’s relocation to the United States from Puerto Rico in the 1950s and her childhood in Somerville, New Jersey. She explains that she had always known she wanted to go to college and learned about Brown from a high school classmate. She recalls attending a transitional summer program before beginning her first semester at Brown as well as her time concentrating in Spanish Culture and Literature. Ruiz also details her participation in the 1975 takeover of University Hall.
After graduating from Brown, Ruiz says she did not have any specific plans and traveled around the country before deciding to attend Boston University Law School. She emphasizes the difference between her undergraduate and graduate experiences, particularly in terms of racial integration and tension. She goes on to describe some of the work she did in Philadelphia at the district attorney’s office with child abuse and homicide cases.
Through her legal lens, Ruiz shares her opinion on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and the sexual assault allegations brought against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She notes that she does not remember feeling concerned with issues of sexual assault on Brown’s campus. Ruiz concludes her interview by highlighting how unique Brown is in terms of its educational requirements.