Topic - Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is a national non-profit civil rights organization formed in 1968 to protect the rights of Latinos in the United States. Founded in Texas, it is currently headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and currently maintains regional offices in Sacramento, San Antonio, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.==Background==One of the most important organizations to win legal victories for Mexican Americans in lawsuits for civil rights, women’s rights, educational issues, and voting rights, MALDEF incorporated in San Antonio in 1967. With the help of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), MALDEF got a $2.2 million grant from the Ford Foundation. This proved both helpful and harmful. The grant provided scholarships for more Mexican-American lawyers. But the Ford Foundation also used the grant as leverage to push MALDEF to relocate their headquarters out of the state and replace their executive director, in part because the foundation perceived some San Antonio staffers to be “militants.” MALDEF relocated to San Francisco and then Los Angeles but kept a regional office in San Antonio. - Source: Wikipedia

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