MALDEF

MALDEF MOURNS THE LOSS OF JOHN A. PAYTON, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR COUNSEL OF THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND

Legendary Civil Rights Leader Leaves a Legacy of Brilliant Advocacy

LOS ANGELES – Today, MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, issued the following statement in response to the passing of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s President and Director Counsel, John A. Payton:

"It is with deep sadness that we express our heartfelt condolences to the family of John Payton and to our colleagues at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The measure of this unexpected and tragic loss to the civil rights community is simply incalculable. Ever since LDF President Jack Greenberg provided indispensable assistance to MALDEF's founding in 1968, MALDEF and LDF have enjoyed a special relationship. That continued under John's inspired leadership. John was always out front in drawing the connection between our nation's current anti-immigrant atmosphere and the long term civil rights struggle. John was a friend and ally who brought his incredible intellectual gifts and unmatched experience to our frequent collaborations. The world of justice has lost a brilliant hero."


Founded in 1968, 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. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund