Founded in 1968 in San Antonio, Texas, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is the leading nonprofit Latino litigation, advocacy and… educational outreach institution in the United States. Through the years, MALDEF has been at the forefront of civil rights litigation, setting precedent in many cases and establishing new systems to elect officials, hire and promote employees, and educate children. On the non-litigation side, MALDEF works extensively on the issues of redistricting and census adjustment and is undertaking a nationwide media outreach campaign to ensure that all Latinos are counted in the 2000 Census. Additionally, through its leadership development programs, MALDEF trains and empowers Latinos to serve on policy-making boards and commissions at the local, state and national levels. Through the skills and training taught in its parent leadership programs, MALDEF also provides parents with the knowledge and tools necessary to advocate for a quality education for their children.
MALDEF's mission is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the 45 million Latinos living in the United States and t…o empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society. MALDEF achieves its mission by concentrating its efforts on the following areas: Employment Education Immigration Political Access Language Public Resource Equity Issues MALDEF achieves its objectives through advocacy, community education, collaboration with other groups and individuals, the awarding of higher education scholarships in law and when necessary, through the legal system.