Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) – http://www.maldef.org
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading non-profit Latino legal organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes equality and justice through litigation, advocacy, public policy, and community education in the areas of employment, immigrants’ rights, voting rights, education, and language rights. MALDEF strives to implement programs that are structured to bring Latinos into the mainstream of American political and socio-economic life; providing better educational opportunities; encouraging participation in all aspects of society; and offering a positive vision for the future. Unique to MALDEF is an approach that combines advocacy, educational outreach, and litigation strategies to achieve socio-economic change.
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – http://www.nclr.org
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States – works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations (CBOs), NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas – assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) – http://www.naleo.org
Established in 1976, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan membership organization whose constituency includes the nation’s more than 6,000 elected and appointed Latino officials.
NALEO Educational Fund – http://www.naleo.org/naleoeducationalfund.html
The NALEO Educational Fund is the nation’s leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. Established in 1981, the NALEO Educational Fund is making significant contributions to the progress of the nation’s 45.5 million Latinos. The NALEO Educational Fund provides national leadership for important public discussions on key issues that affect Latino participation in our political process, including immigration and naturalization, election reform, the Census, and the appointment of qualified Latinos to top executive and judicial positions. Also, policymakers, at all levels of government, rely on the organization’s expertise to ensure that the perspectives of the Latino community are integrated into their policy proposals.
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts – http://www.hispanicarts.org/welcome.htm
Actors Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales and Sonia Braga, along with attorney Felix Sanchez, created the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in 1997 to advance the presence of Latinos in the media, telecommunications and entertainment industries. The Foundation has concentrated on increasing access for Hispanic artists and professionals while fostering the emergence of new Hispanic talent. The Hispanic community — which makes up 16 percent of the U.S. population – has become the nation’s largest ethnic minority group and is increasingly recognized for its potentially enormous consumer and political power. The entertainment industry has been making progress, but an enormous gap still exists before the Hispanic community – 50 million strong – is adequately reflected on stage and on both the small and big screens. Paradoxically, while the entertainment industry and its advertisers tap into the Hispanic community’s resources, programming still falls short of the need to expand and present U.S. Latinos in a more modern and contemporary manner. This omission deprives an entire community of a source of cultural pride and reality and the country-at-large of a true picture of the American mosaic. Since 1997, the Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 350 Hispanic students pursuing graduate degrees in the arts in excess of $1 million dollars.