LOS ANGELES –  MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) mourns the loss of former board member, Juan Gómez-Quiñones. A Chicano historian, activist, and author, Gómez-Quiñones, died Thursday morning.

He served as a board member for MALDEF in the early 1980s, bridging the leadership of Ambassador Vilma Martinez, MALDEF president and general counsel from 1973 to 1982, and Joaquin Avila, who served as MALDEF president and general counsel from 1982 to 1985.

Beginning in 1969, Gómez-Quiñones taught at UCLA where he also served as Director of the Chicano Studies Research Center at the university. Gómez-Quiñones retired as Professor Emeritus in 2017.

Please attribute the following statement to Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel:

“Professor Gómez-Quiñones was an icon of Chicano Studies; as such, his influence over MALDEF extends well beyond his important board service early in our history.  His influence over the learning and thinking of many MALDEF staff members as they pursued their education means that he continues to influence our pursuit of Latino civil rights today and in the future.”

Please attribute the following statement to Ambassador Martinez:

“Professor Gómez-Quiñones provided MALDEF and me insightful guidance and counsel as we sought to find the best paths to Latino empowerment during his service on MALDEF’s Board.”