Founded in 1968, The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community”, MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.

Project Overview

Latino Strategies worked closely with MALDEF on its website redesign and subsequent outreach and advocacy efforts. Through a data-driven approach, we were able to more than triple MALDEF’s membership. In doing so, MALDEF leapfrogged to the head of the sector in key metrics used for measuring progress and success online, cementing a leadership role in engaging Latinos online.

Website Redesign

Latino Strategies worked closely with MALDEF to develop an innovative and easy-to-navigate design for MALDEF’s new website. We tailored the website structure to reflect MALDEF’s mission and key legislative and public policy priorities while ensuring accessibility to English, bilingual, and Spanish-speaking audiences.

30-DAY GRASSROOTS OUTREACHFUNNELS OUTRAGE INTO ONLINEACTIVISM, TRIPLES MEMBERSHIP

Latino Strategies worked closely with MALDEF on its outreach and advocacy efforts. In one case, we coordinated a national online advocacy campaign around the hate crime death of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The campaign was launched on May 5, 2009 in order to raise awareness about hate crimes and the injustices being perpetrated through the local criminal justice systems. Latino Strategies and MALDEF drafted a petition to the U.S. Department of Justice that requested investigation and prosecution of the assailants on federal hate crimes charges. Latino Strategies also helped secure participation and support from national coalition partners including: the Coalition of Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), America’s Voice, USHLI, NCLR,LULAC, NALEO, Voto Latino, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO), and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC).

The petition was extremely well received by the community. By the end of the campaign it had received 50,000 signatures of support, with more than a thousand of those signatures coming in the first week alone. Latino Strategies contributed to the strategy for distributing the emails, writing and editing the content, and updating tell-a-friend and thank-you email messages. Shortly afterward, the Department of Justice officially announced three federal grand jury indictments of two of Luis Ramirez’s assailants and three of the police officers involved in the investigation. This national campaign received media attention from CNN, CBS News, MSNBC, CNN.com, Associated Press, EFE, La Opinion, NPR, the Huffington Post, as well as other national print, radio and online outlets. Plus Three also helped place an op-ed about the hate crime on CNN.com.

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