Ana Graciela Nájera Mendoza is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Education Equity Team, where she litigates and advocates to protect the rights of California's students.
A native Spanish speaker, a community organizer, and a litigator, Ana has worked with clients from diverse backgrounds and is committed to working with communities to promote racial and economic justice.
Prior to joining the ACLU in 2017, Ana was an Associate at Alexander Krakow + Glick LLP, a plaintiff-side employment and civil rights firm, where she worked on cases involving wage theft, housing discrimination, and employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. She represented employees across a broad spectrum of industries in vindicating their employment claims, including restaurant workers, nurses, police officers, hotel workers, professors, factory workers, and human resources executives.
Prior to law school, Ana was a youth organizer with Inner City Struggle, a community-based organization in the eastside of Los Angeles that promotes safe, healthy, and non-violent communities by focusing on educational justice. While at ICS, Ana trained student leaders to create digital stories on the state of their LAUSD schools and oversaw the data analysis that led to the policy report, "The Movement Continues: The State of Equity and Access in Eastside Public Schools." Prior to ICS, Ana worked at the Main Street Project in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she worked on a rural Latino capacity-building initiative called The Raíces Project and developed Jóvenes Latin@s Cuentan, a rural Latin@ youth program in rural communities in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, and Oregon. Ana used popular education, digital storytelling, and culturally-centered practices to build youth power and give Latino youth the tools to create a path to college.
Ana is a graduate of Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) and the UCLA School of Law, where she specialized in Critical Race Studies. During law school, Ana volunteered with A New Way of Life and clerked with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the ACLU of Southern California, and UNITE HERE Local 11. She has worked on impact litigation involving voting rights, First Amendment issues, education policy, and immigrants' rights. Ana was the recipient of scholarships from the Beverly Hills Bar Association, Mexican American Bar Foundation, Latina Lawyers Bar Association, and the 2014 MALDEF Hernandez-Stern Scholarship.
An active leader within the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) since 2015, Ana currently serves as MABA's Treasurer, Chair of the MABA High School Scholarship Program, and Chair of the MABA Student Outreach Program. The Student Outreach Program coordinates visits between MABA members and local schools and community-based organizations to share personal, academic, and professional stories and inspire the next generation of diverse lawyers.