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Statement by LatinoJustice PRLDEF on Natasha Bannan

The recent revelations about Ms.Bannan’s identity and how it conflicts with the mission and values of LatinoJustice triggered a process that strove for accountability and fairness for our staff, our clients, and our community. For nearly 50 years, we have dedicated ourselves to defending not only the human and civil rights of Latinas and Latinos, but also to ensuring that we build agency and opportunities that would allow them to take their rightful place as leaders in the community, the workplace and movements that advance our own well-being. Since the day we opened our doors, we have promoted and advanced Latinas and Latinos in careers in law precisely because these opportunities for our communities are hard to come by.

Accordingly, the revelations of the recent reportage were serious matters that required immediate attention. We cannot accept actions that displace Latinos and Latinas, including within our own movement. These acts conflict with the mission and values of LatinoJustice. Ms. Bannan’s actions, regardless of intent, have caused harm not only to those who were displaced by her role in the movement but also to those who have been her allies and collaborators.

In that context, Natasha Bannan tendered her resignation today.

Ms. Bannan served as Senior Counsel during a tenure which began in January 2015. During that time, she has made valuable contributions to the mission of our organization, particularly to address the plight Latina and Latino immigrant workers, Puerto Rican evacuees in need of FEMA assistance, public school students in New Jersey, residents of Vieques striving for decontamination, victims of racist institutional and interpersonal violence who use international human rights fora to assert their claims for justice, and other individual clients who benefited immensely from her body of work.

Ms. Bannan acknowledged today that her resignation is necessary to ensure that LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s mission, her work, our clients, and the communities we serve are not further harmed by the distraction created by the recent news reports.

Our mission demands that we hold ourselves and our allies accountable in the movement for racial justice. We will continue to strive to do so, every day.