Some at Chicago GameChangers Event Call for Better Latino Funding Strategies

At least 110 foundation, community organization, academic and political leaders gathered recently in Chicago for the GameChangers briefing co-sponsored by HIP and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The presentation, response and panel discussion at the historic Jane Addams Hull House Museum Residents’ Dining Hall at UIC were followed by active audience participation and lively exchanges of ideas by people working in the community and in philanthropy. Speakers and participants both at the event and in email exchanges afterwards have insistently called for follow up, urging development of a strategy and concrete actions to promote increased funding for Latino nonprofits and communities. The Sept. 25 event in Chicago was the most recent in HIP’s year-long GameChangers series around the country to encourage civil sector dialogue about the findings of “Foundation Funding for Hispanics/Latinos in the United States and for Latin America” report conducted by the highly regarded Foundation Center and commissioned by HIP. The study, which was released last year, found that U.S. philanthropic giving that is specifically earmarked to help Latino communities  remained flat over a decade at less than two percent of total giving, despite the Latino population having become this country’s largest minority. Since release of the report, HIP has encouraged a national series of dialogues with and among philanthropic leaders to consider new opportunities for shifting strategies in their efforts to fight poverty and level the playing fields in such areas as healthcare, education and employment. In Chicago, María de los Angeles Torres, director of the UIC Latin American and Latino Studies Program, welcomed participants and gave a brief introduction, followed by Ricardo Estrada, UIC trustee and president and CEO of Metropolitan Family Services, and by HIP President Diana Campoamor. Foundation Center Director of Research Steven Lawrence then presented key findings of the report.  Adela Cepeda, founder and president of A.C. Advisory, offered an analysis of the implications and possibilities.  The presentation by Cepeda, a finance specialist, was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jorge Girotti, associate dean of Admissions at the UIC College of Medicine and director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence at UIC. Participating in the panel were:  Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia; Program Officer Alejandra Ibañez, of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation; Donors Forum President and CEO Valerie S. Lies, and Latino Policy Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente. Chicago is indeed a special place: The weather was perfect, the people fabulous, and we look forward to returning in April for the HIP General Membership Meeting.
HIP Members peruse the Foundation Center report on “Foundation Funding for Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. and for Latin America” at the HIP GameChangers in Chicago panel discussion.
More photos here