Hispanics in Philanthropy elevates the conversation around Latino Men and Boys

By: Anne Hand, Senior Program Manager, Equity and Leadership Initiatives As part of Hispanics in Philanthropy’s mission to strengthen Latino leadership, voice, and equity, we are committed to supporting the most vulnerable in our communities.  A strategic focus on Latino men and boys – included in the broader, national, U.S. men and boys of color conversation – aligns with HIP’s vision, that Latino equity, participation, and inclusion are essential for widely shared democracy and prosperity in the U.S. and the Americas. Latinos are the largest, youngest, and fastest growing population of color in the US. It is no secret that Latino young men drop out of school more often, spend more time in jail, earn less money, and die younger, than they should. Latino young men are vital parts of our communities, and when they are unjustly taken from their homes, or their opportunities to grow, into the pillars of community they can be, are limited, their families and communities are the ones who suffer. As a transnational Donors’ Network, Hispanics in Philanthropy elevates the conversation around Latino Men and Boys, for the entire philanthropic ecosystem. Here are two ways we have been changing the conversation around Latino men and boys: First, Hispanics in Philanthropy increases formal, data-driven, research and investigation, into the effectiveness of grassroots programming for Latino communities. With the information we are able to collect and publish from our network of grantees, we support our Donors’ Network as we decide together how to best serve Latino communities in the US. Most recently, we partnered with a coordinated group of funders working in the Southwest, to grant over $350,000 to six nonprofits in New Mexico and Arizona who work exclusively for projects designed to improve health, workforce, and education outcomes for Latino men and boys. All of the projects included ways for Latino young men to engage more productively with systems and structures that can throw up barriers to their success. The Southwest Organizing Project, for example, worked to reduce punitive policies in the Albuquerque Public Schools that unduly impact Latino men and boys. Amistades, as another example, provided asset-based cultural competence training to health and education providers along the Arizona/Mexico border. We released a report with six new case studies that highlight this work. In this report, we also provide a framework for funders looking to engage the Latino community in their strategies. Second, we address the narrative around Latino leaders, and their communities through our annual “HIPGivers” campaign. This campaign seeks to highlight Latino generosity and giving by honoring and celebrating a select group of individuals who have shown extraordinary commitment to their communities, often in very complicated contexts. Every year, we include HIPGivers who are changing the narrative around the Latino young men in their communities. A perfect example of this leadership is Coach Paul Cuadros, a 2016 HIPGiver. Paul is a journalist and professor who is the author of “A Home on the Field.” His book tells the story of the resilience of immigrant Latino youth, and their families, in North Carolina through an asset-based, sports-oriented, lens. He has since chaired the Scholars’ Latino Initiative at the University of North Carolina, paying it forward through youth mentorship and leadership, particularly for young Latino men. At Hispanics in Philanthropy, we see an incredible potential to continue and scale work that, in many Latino communities, is only just beginning. We see space to create coalitions with other communities of color, to implement and integrate the most effective practices, with the most positive stories. We see partners that want to come together to achieve greater goals, and do not shirk from the challenge. We are glad to be a strong and powerful voice for Latino communities in these conversations.