2019 #HIPLíderes Spotlight: Cindy Camacho

All month long, as part our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, we’ll be highlighting and honoring some of our 2019 Líderes.

HIP’s Líderes Fellowship cultivates mid-career Latinos working in philanthropy and nonprofits by gaining knowledge, learning new practices, and building relationships within a network that supports their ability to advance and thrive.

This year’s HIP Lideres represent 19 grantmaking institutions and 12 nonprofits from across the United States. Lideres were chosen on the basis of demonstrating a commitment to working for racial equity to achieve social justice.  The Fellows represent diverse Líderes — including indigenous, Afro, women, and LGBTQI Latinos — who have the courage to work in the complexity of the intersections in which we all live, including race, class, education, gender identity, ability, etc.

Meet Cindy Camacho

Tell us about yourself. What do you want people to know about you as a Latinx professional in the philanthropic and social sector?

I am the Program Officer at the Julian Grace Foundation. I have spent over a decade of my career in the three P’s: programs, policy, and philanthropy. In Chicago, I served as a grantmaker at the Polk Bros. Foundation and provided domestic violence clinical services at Metropolitan Family Services. In Lake County, I managed education programs for Latinx and immigrant communities with Family Service of Lake County. At the Latino Policy Forum, I advocated for equitable city and state-level policies with and for Latinx communities.

My education has helped guide my work. I earned an M.A. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration and a B.A. in Sociology from Oberlin College. I am also grateful for the education I received in the Latinx, immigrant communities that nurtured me and my immigrant parents who taught me to persevere in the face of adversity.

What calls you to do this work today?

I am called to do this work by the need for more justice and empathy in the world. There are so many social injustices that plague the multiple communities I serve, and I walk with them in the journey toward liberation. I work with them to bring to reality the equitable communities we imagine. Their (and my) power, anger, love, and hope bring me to work every day.

What brings you joy? 

What brings me joy is seeing and feeling young people grow their power. Building relationships and partnerships bring me happiness because it is uplifting to share justice work. Celebrating accomplishments brings me joy because taking moments to embrace the wins recharges me.

How will you transform Philanthropy? 

As I grow in the field I want to:

  • Bring new Latinx leadership into philanthropy and nurture their leadership;
  • Transform boards to be reflective of those they serve;
  • Find ways to move money faster to communities in need with fewer strings attached; and
  • Move allies to become accomplices in the fight for social justice.
What is your leadership mantra? 

Get to know some of the other Líderes here.