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Agreed to Differ, Resolved to Love and United to Serve

Margo graduated from Rincon High School, attended Northern Arizona University and then graduated from Springfield with a Bachelor of Arts. She continued her education by receiving her Masters in Social Work from Arizona State University. She received her Law Degree in 1985 from Antioch School of Law in Washington DC, was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar in 1985 and to the Arizona State Bar in 1995.

Margo’s life’s work has been centered on serving the underserved. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree, she worked as a Vista Volunteer in San Diego, was a farm worker organizer and had the privilege of being mentored by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. In the early 70s, she worked with the Manzo Area Council and established the El Concilio Manzo, worked in the La Frontera program—People of Color Against Aids. In the 80s, she worked with the Rev. John Fife of Southside Presbyterian Church during Sanctuary. While in Washington D.C. she was a community organizer and Director of a Latino Youth Center. She served as General Counsel to the Tohono O’odham from 1993 to 2003 and served as Counsel to Congressman Raul Grijalva in 2004.

2015 cwu Human Rights Award recipient: Margo Cowan

Margo Cowan was born in Kansas and moved to Tucson with her parents, Virginia and Otis Cowan at the age of three. Her mother then taught English at Pueblo High School and her father was a newspaper editor and insurance salesman. Margo is one of six children: three brothers and two sisters, has one daughter-Julia and granddaughter Dora and is married to Lupe Castillo.

Currently Margo is a Defense Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender’s office since 2004. She is the Attorney who supervises a Legal Clinic that is held at Southside Presbyterian Church every first and third Saturday to assist individuals with paperwork leading to citizenship. She also is the main counsel for the Sanctuary 2014-2015 movement. Margo has done and continues to do extensive pro-bono work, mainly in the areas of border/immigration policy development and representation of undocumented persons and refugees.

​Church Women United in Tucson is ever grateful for Margo’s work and it is a privilege to recognize her with the Human Rights Award 2015.