Wednesday, November 12, 2008
MALDEF to Honor Leaders at 34th Annual Awards Dinner
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund will host its 34th Annual National Awards Dinner tomorrow to honor and recognize leaders in the public and private sector who have been instrumental in advancing justice for Latinos, the organization has announced.
The event will be held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and begins at 6 p.m. Honorees include the Ford Foundation, which will receive the MALDEFian Award; Frank J. Quevedo, vice president of equal opportunity for Southern California Edison, who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award; Prudential Financial, which will receive the Corporate Social Responsibility Award; and the plaintiffs in an Arizona desegregation case who will receive the Community Service Award.
The Ford Foundation is an independent, non-profit grant-making organization, chartered in 1936 by Edsel Ford. The New York-based organization claims to have distributed more than $15 billion worldwide to promote peace, human welfare and the sustainability of the environment.
Under Quevedo’s leadership, MALDEF saudm Edison has won a host of awards over the past decade as being one of the top companies in America for ethnic minorities. Quevado is a three-time board chairman of MALDEF and has served on the organization’s board of directors since 1981.
Maria Mendoza, Eddie Contreras, Sylvia Compoy and Dr. Leonard Stevens were the plaintiffs in a 1974 case filed by MALDEF challenging the segregated school system in the Tuscon Unified School District in 1974. The case was settled in 1978 after a federal court judge found intentional segregation. The settlement required the district to employ specific remedies including the reassignment of students through busing and the closing of segregated schools.
Founded in 1968, MALDEF describes itself as the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization, and says it “promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.”
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