From the New President of Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP)
By Ana Marie Argilagos
The NiLP Report
[January 9, 2018] is a bittersweet day for me. Sweet because I am thrilled to begin my journey as the new president of Hispanics in Philanthropy. Yet bitter, because yesterday we learned that 200,000 of our Salvadoran brothers and sisters will be forced to leave their homes in the U.S. next year. My heart is heavy as I think of the uncertainty, fear, and grief facing these families, and facing the 45,000 Haitians, 2,500 Nicaraguans, 57,000 Hondurans, and 800,000 Dreamers whose lives have been turned upside-down by this administration's immigration policies.
These people came to the U.S. because they faced insurmountable obstacles at home, in communities ravaged by natural disasters, violence, and poverty. They left the safety and comfort of their families and homes because they envisioned a better life in the U.S., and they have become invaluable assets to our economy, neighborhoods, and schools. They are part of the fabric of this country, and losing them will be disastrous-not just for them, but for the U.S.
In this moment of national uncertainty, when the government has turned its back on the most vulnerable, philanthropy is critical. We must step up-by making sure the voices of all our communities are represented; by seeking creative strategies to support our Black, Brown, immigrant, women, Muslim, and LGBTQI communities; and by forging a path toward equity and inclusion.
I also believe that, in this moment, Latinos must channel our culture of generosity into a new type of philanthropy. By taking just a fraction of the $1.4 trillion buying power of Latinos in the U.S. and investing it back into our community, we can support efforts to affirm our accomplishments, close the gaps of inequity that hold us back, and put our young people on a pathway to success. We can create a new generation of philanthropy that is by our community, for our community, and about our community so that we can reclaim our independence and our sovereignty.
Over the next few months I will embark on a learning tour, and am eagerly anticipating the chance to discuss the most pressing needs of Latino communities across North America. I hope to spark a dialogue about the most effective way for HIP to fulfill our mission of mobilizing a new generation of philanthropy, guided by the goal of making a meaningful, measurable impact on the future of our community.
I am deeply grateful to HIP's founding board members for recognizing the need to establish an institution dedicated to philanthropy in the Latino community; to former president Diana Campoamor for her 27 years of visionary leadership; and to the board of trustees for their support and the faith they have placed in me to lead this organization into the future. Together, they built HIP into what it is today: the central hub for financial, social, and political investment in the Latino community.
Though the task ahead of us may seem daunting, in the worlds of Nelson Mandela, "It always seems impossible until it's done."
I look forward to working together in the months and years ahead.
Ana Marie Argilagos was part of the Equitable Development team at the Ford Foundation before joining Hispanics in Philanthropy as its new President. At Ford her work has focused on urban development strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic opportunity, and advance sustainability in cities and regions across the world. Before becoming a senior adviser at the foundation in 2014, she served as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She can be reached at AnaMarie@hiponline.org.
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