The Cesar A. Perales Leadership Institute

LatinoJustice PRLDEF has a long history of developing Latino leaders – from attorneys and judges to politicians, educators and corporate and nonprofit leaders. To ensure that young Latinos have the opportunity to follow in the path of such leaders as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, corporate leader Gil Casellas and our own civil rights leader, Cesar Perales, the LatinoJustice Board of Directors launched the Institute to provide Latino students with the opportunity to make a difference in their communities today and to provide them with comprehensive services to support them as they become the leaders of tomorrow.


Over the past 40 years, more than 10,000 students have participated in the LatinoJustice pipeline programs. Notable alumni include:

  • New York City Deputy Mayor Carol A. Robles-Roman
  • Judge Eduardo Padro, New York State Supreme Court Justice
  • Housing Court Judge Gilbert Badillo

The Institute provides two types of services for Latino students from high school through graduate studies and law school:

  1. Advancing Latino Civil Rights – LatinoJustice guides students in developing and carrying out volunteer activities that allow them to hone their civic and political skills as they provide core support for the Latino community. Our Youth Leadership Network (YLN) invites students to become 21st century changemakers and advocates.

    The Youth Leadership Network aims to empowers high school and college student leaders to engage in the fight for social justice and equality in their community through leadership, new media advocacy and grassroots organizing techniques. Workshops with the YLN will focus on online organizing and new media strategies to assist in organizing the community around issues that impact the Latino community.

    For example, through the Institute’s Youth Leadership Network, students have united to: provide a youth voice to the policy of Stop-and- Frisk, register newly naturalized citizens to vote; raise awareness and support for the DREAM Act; and recruited college students to serve as poll workers helping Spanish-speaking voters to understand the new poll machines.

    Learn more and become a member of the YLN.
  2. Fostering Professional and Community Leaders – LatinoJustice offers education programs to help Latino students prepare for college, graduate and law school. Our programs run the gamut from LSAT Prep courses to LAWbound Scholars, which guides high school students in a five-year program aimed at getting them into graduate or law school. With assigned mentors, internship opportunities and scholarship support, the programs help students access career paths that will allow them to continue to advance Latino issues.


Pfizer Inc. was the first Corporate Partner to sponsor the Cesar A. Perales Leadership Institute. We are currently seeking additional Corporate Partners to provide volunteers and funding in support of the Institute.

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