Congrats to Cohort 9

Congrats to Cohort 9 of the Latino Leadership Alliance who just wrapped up the Stanford Retreat.

Special thanks to Professor Tomas Jimenez for always organizing an amazing program!

Learn more about the Leadership Academy.

Remembering Joaquin Avila

The Latino Leadership Alliance (LLA) mourns the passing of civil rights champion Joaquin Avila (June 23, 1948 – March 9, 2018).

Mr. Avila devoted his career to voting rights advocacy and litigation, believing that government functions best if it is reflective and representative of the range of its constituents.

“Once you achieve that”, Avila said, “you’ll have a better community for everyone, not just Latinos, and everyone will have a vested interest in making sure the government resources are distributed equitably and fairly.”

Mr. Avila was a nationally-recognized voting rights and civil rights advocate and champion. He served as president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1982 to 1985. During his career, he was involved in litigating more than 70 voting rights cases throughout California and Texas. In the 1990s he successfully argued a groundbreaking voting rights case on behalf of Latino plaintiffs in Monterey County, California, for which he appeared and won twice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also the principal author of the 2001 California Voting Rights Act, which is the only state voting rights act in the nation.

Avila was an accomplished and recognized advocate. He was one of the first Latinos admitted to Yale University and he was a graduate of Harvard Law School. In 1996, Avila received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation genius fellowship for his work in voting rights advocacy. He also received the president’s award from the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Ohtli Award from the Mexican government. He was also declared by the California State Assembly to be a “voting rights gladiator”, and he was a recipient of MALDEF’s Valerie Kantor Award for Extraordinary Achievement. Perhaps his greatest achievement, however, is the numerous communities throughout our nation empowered by his voting rights advocacy, and the countless persons inspired by his tireless fight for true representative government. During his lifetime Mr. Avila embodied the LLA motto of “leadership in motion.

Annual Gala 2018

Video & Photos