Celebrating a 40-Year Commitment to Justice and Leadership


CONTACT: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF announced an entire slate of slate of special events and activities planned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its creation.

The organization, founded in 1972 as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, has brought legal actions protecting the rights of Latinos that have impacted hundreds of thousands across the country.

LatinoJustice has also played a crucial role in developing hundreds of lawyers and leaders throughout its 40 year history.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF will honor its history throughout the year with events that highlight the many legal victories it has won on behalf of Latinos throughout the country. It will celebrate the many leaders it has helped to establish. The organization will also look to the future as part of an extensive long-term strategic plan.

“This is a time to celebrate a great history, but to also be mindful that there are still challenges that face our community,” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel.

Cartagena started his career as a lawyer at PRLDEF.

“We have had many great victories in our history. But we hear every day about attacks against our community. As we move forward LatinoJustice remains just as committed to the cause of justice and leadership as we were when we started 40 years ago.”

Forty year ago, three young lawyers gathered in New York City’s El Barrio and created the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund to gain more equitable treatment for Puerto Ricans and Latinos. Jorge Batista, Victor Marrero and Cesar A. Perales wanted to change the discriminatory practices they saw taking place in their communities, and they thought the best way to do that was through advocacy and litigation.

In honor of the three founders, the organization has established a Legacy Leader of the Decade honor to be given to a person or organization that best exemplifies the mission and goals of the organization. The first honoree will be announced next week.

LatinoJustice is also producing a video on its history. Several other events will also focus on impact on Latino lives.

Key dates include:

February 25 Legacy Leader of the Decade announced

March 15 Friends of LatinoJustice Anniversary Gathering

April 17 LatinoJustice NYC Leadership Reception

June 20 Latina Trailblazers Breakfast

July 11 Associates and Alumni Networking Reception

Aug. 6-10 LAWbound

Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 LatinoJustice Legacy Tour

Oct. 7 LAW Day

Oct. 25 Annual Awards Gala

Dec. 15 Legacy Leaders Luncheon

To learn more about sponsoring or participating in any of our events or activities, email dmedina@latinojustice.org or call 212-739-7585.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, established in 1972, has won landmark civil rights cases in education, housing, voting, migrant, immigrant, employment and other civil rights. Through the efforts of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Latino voters have been critical players in ensuring fair and bilingual election systems and fair redistricting opportunities for the nation’s largest minority.

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