The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund records contain the administrative records, litigation files, and
special program files of one of the most influential and effective civil rights organizations focusing on defining and protecting
the civil rights of Mexican Americans throughout the United States.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund was incorporated in 1967 by Pete Tijerina, following a meeting convened
by Jack Greenberg of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, between Tijerina, San Antonians Albert Peña and Roy Padilla, and Bill Pincus,
a Ford Foundation representative. When Pincus said that the Foundation would be willing to consider a proposal for funding
a Mexican American legal organization, Tijerina filed the papers for incorporation, conducted research for writing the proposal,
and made an organizing tour of five southwestern states. Tijerina organized MALDEF committees in California, Colorado, Arizona,
and New Mexico, as well as his native Texas. In May 1968, MALDEF received a 2.2 million dollar grant from the Ford Foundation
to be used over five years, and in August 1968 MALDEF began work.
3415.0 Linear feet
(1189 cartons, 2691 boxes, 35 flat-boxes, 12 half-boxes, 55 oversized flat-boxes, 11 card-boxes, 9 photo-boxes, 2 cassette-boxes,
36 large map-folders, 10 small map-folders)
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