HIP’s North Carolina Collaborative Shares Tools for Telling your Organization’s Stories

HIP’s North Carolina Site of the Funders’ Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities hosted its 12th Convening: “Cuéntame: Tools for Telling your Organization’s Story” on October 2nd and 3rd. Over seventy attendees representing 42 organizations from the mountains to the beach united in Greensboro for two days of capacity-building workshops, networking and a community forum.

The first session was provided through a grant from HIP’s funding partner, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in the form of Racial Equity training. The session helped organizations address structural racism in their work, board membership and community engagement. Grantees commented on the powerful impact the session had with regard to the history of structural racism and the inspiring lessons they were able to take away from the workshop. The Racial Equity Training was followed by a Community Forum on Latino Education like those held at the last Convening in Charlotte and independently in Asheville this past April. This time, HIP partnered with NC A&T State University, an HBCU (which stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and invited both a student and expert panelist from NC A&T to present.  Three local expert panelists provided an overview of Latino student trends, insights into the necessity for educators to be educated and cognizant of the barriers that Latino students face, and opportunities for collective advancement.
A group of engaged participants work together to draw a collective story during the networking session.
The experts were informative and compelling, but it was the student panel that stole the show. Five students of mixed nationalities and documentation statuses shared their stories about their successes and challenges in the North Carolina educational system. Brittney Gaspari of the Winston-Salem Foundation welcomed everyone on behalf of HIP’s North Carolina funders and grantees. About 100 people attended the event representing both grantee and funder organizations as well as members from local k-12 and higher educational communities. In keeping with the Convening’s story-telling theme, grantee organizations COLA, El Centro of Hendersonville and Casa Azul displayed their artwork during the event’s reception. HIP hosts these forums in conjunction with the Convenings to raise attention to and discussion about the importance to North Carolina’s future through educating its Latino population and to highlight the work of HIP and its grantees in the educational arena. The following day, HIP hosted four plenary sessions, all under the theme of “story-telling.” Nationally renowned slam poet, Kane Smego, kicked off the series with a session on the skill and power of conveying organizational stories to the community. To further delve into capacity-building, the other three workshops addressed board engagement, networking and fundraising.