Home / Media / ePiñata / August 31, 2016

HF Letter from the President: It's Time to Rise Up!

How do we give voice to our community? How do we reinforce the safety net for those in need? How do we respond to existing challenges and unforseen emergencies? How do we uplift our next generation? At the heart of the answer to those questions lies philanthropy. In other words, it rests with our ability to organize and raise resources to advance our shared causes. Philanthropy is not only essential to community-building, it is a sign of what we call in Spanish, compromiso. In one way, compromiso means obligation. But in a broader sense, the word conveys a sense of deeper connection. In this way, philanthropy becomes a reflection of our connection to our community. It’s a tangible way of showing that our community has value and matters. And the stakes for increasing philanthropy in our community have never been greater.

The fact is that never before in my lifetime have I seen a political moment like the one we are currently experiencing. The national political dialogue, if we can call it that, has been characterized by calumnies and insults directed against some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Every new day brings news of uglier invective and baseless accusations. At Hispanic Federation we have been responding to each provocation with reasoned discourse and data, reaffirming our belief that America is always better served by policies and rhetoric that unite us. We marshal data to combat the distortions; we fight hatred with compassion, love and a commitment to serve.

But there is so much more for all of us to do. Undoubtedly, one of the most powerful things we can do at this moment in history is to renew our compromiso with our communities. Whether through volunteerism or by making a regular contribution to a Latino community-based organization, now is the time to increase the ante. We can’t sit on the sidelines. The stakes are simply too high.

Helping our youth succeed academically. Improving health care. Protecting affordable housing. Advancing immigrant integration. These are just some of the actions you can help achieve by supporting organizations like ASPIRA, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families and the Latino Commission on AIDS. Under our organizational umbrella, we’re blessed to represent more than 97 other Latino nonprofits like them and I encourage you to go to our website and connect with these amazing institutions.

If you care about protecting our voting and civil rights, support organizations like LatinoJustice PRLDEF or MALDEF.

And if you want to support a collective – organizations that are raising dollars to support local Hispanic causes and empower communities from the ground up, please donate your time and treasure to strengthen Latinos Funds such as the Hispanic Development Fund in Kansas City and the Latino Community Foundation in San Francisco. You can find out about other Latino Funds in our website.

It’s high time to invest in the people and organizations that make our communities stronger. The people and organizations whose work is a daily testament that Latinos aren’t at odds with American values, they embody them.