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50 Years of Service and Impact

Dear Friends,

In 1972, three brilliant young Puerto Rican attorneys made a bold move: to use the legal system to challenge the inequities perpetuated against the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York City. Jorge Batista, Victor Marrero, and Cesar Perales launched the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights organization that later became LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

Today, LatinoJustice PRLDEF is a national nonprofit playing a profound role in advancing equity and justice for all Latinx communities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. 

Our legal and advocacy work on voting rights and civic engagement has consistently held the line against attempts to limit the rights of Latinx and other marginalized communities.

The disproportionate number of Latinos incarcerated and otherwise harmed by racially biased policing has driven our legal and advocacy work to dismantle and abolish the criminal legal system as it exists, as well as fighting the criminalization of immigration. 

Through decades working to secure greater language access, against economic exploitation, resisting persecution by immigration enforcement and combatting other forms of anti-immigrant discrimination, we continue to support dignity and justice for immigrant rights

For over a century, the United States has kept Puerto Rico in a colonial relationship and its people as second-class citizens. Through litigation, education and advocacy, we challenge the unequal treatment and denial of rights to Puerto Ricans on the island and in the diaspora. 

By defending and working to expand labor rights, access to high-quality education, affordable housing and sustainable jobs, we support building the economic justice tools that will improve baseline conditions for our Latinx communities.

And LatinoJustice continues to honor and build on the commitment that Jorge, Victor, Cesar made to ensure that more Latinos join the legal profession, increasing a community-minded corps to challenge unlawful, discriminatory systems and practices.

LatinoJustice’s legal education programs have helped more than 10,000 Latinxs become lawyers, judges, and advocates within their communities. In addition, many young Latinx professionals, including a young lawyer named Sonia Sotomayor, stretched their leadership wings through board and volunteer service with LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

As we celebrate what we’ve achieved over 50 years, we prepare to meet a bolder future, committing to seize the moment – through policy and public education – to expand our reach – to issues and places where Latino lives are challenged – to nurture our roots – in education and housing access – and to build Latinx power – nurturing legal leadership and civic engagement. 

Like the founders of PRLDEF in 1972, we have a vision for a more just world and we intend, with the help and support of our allies and community, to make that vision a reality.


Lourdes M. Rosado
President & General Counsel LatinoJustice PRLDEF



50th Ann