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A Call to Action for Latino Giving

September 5, 2019

Excerpted from Pepe Guevara’s welcome remarks for the Cause-Minded Conversation on Latino Giving and Philanthropy at Communities Foundation of Texas:

Cause-Minded Conversation: Latino Giving & Philanthropy from Communities Foundation of Texas on Vimeo.

View the photo gallery from this event

View the presentation: The Growing Importance of the Latino Community to the Economy

“Well… It is back to school season in North Texas... So, like many Latino parents have done this week with their schoolchildren, I am going to take a moment to reassure you of how special you are, but also set a gentle reminder of the very high expectations we have for you this year. 
I was not born in the US. Like many of you; or your parents; my family and I immigrated to the US with the intent of attaining a better life through hard work.
The US from afar, seemed like a utopian society where if you play by the rules and work hard; anything is possible—“the golden promise of the American Dream”
However, once up close and personal; the reality can be quite different. Particularly for those less fortunate. Because in North Texas as in the US and in every country in the world, the reality is that…. while talent is equally distributed; opportunity is not.
Some unlucky children, and believe me luck is all it is, will attend failing schools, walk unsafe neighborhoods and face hunger in its many forms. Many underprivileged teens will suffer from lack of positive role models, or lack of higher ed and labor options to provide them with economic opportunities. Many adults will lack basic healthcare coverage and living wage opportunities.
Yet we see the stories of success… 
… When an immigrant like Rosario Marin becomes US Treasurer. 
… When a young girl from the Bronx becomes Supreme Court Justice. 
… What gives?  (pun intended) 
Well it is you… It is through people like you; be it nonprofit or donor who are willing to “give to, get for or work on” so the Golden Promise of the American Dream is fulfilled. 
People like you level the playing fields. You eliminate food deserts; educate early/late and in-between; look after those you who cannot look after themselves and then you make sure the caretakers are taken care of; you offer second and third chances;  you provide a voice for those to come or those who should but don’t have a seat at the table. 
You are the heroes.
At this time of inflamed social discourse and divisive politicians; it’s important to remind us that WE Latinos are “the 42%.” We are the most often found thread in our North Texas social weave. With that comes great responsibility.  
Be it nonprofit or donor; the work of every one of you is necessary and special.
The time has passed where we allow others to define us; be it as a culture of old stones and dancing with feathers; or sometimes far worse. At this time; its most important for us to be Citizens at its widest definition of the word.
Citizenship means being the driving and uniting force in our communities; showing ourselves and others, that we are committed for the long-term development of everyone in our North Texas community.
Latinos have some preferred causes. We all give in emergency situations. We love giving to schools, churches and food banks. 
Latinos are very generous, though historically give differently; 
We give close to us—to families, friends, and neighbors. We give constantly. Not only on tax season. We give time, personally caring for infants and elders. And more often than not.. we give quietly.
Yet now that is not enough… I am asking you to increase our commitment on whatever is dearest to you: whether it is a traditionally Latin cause or a new cause that would make you give to, get for or work on joyfully; be it the environment, civic causes and public health and safety. 
But most importantly we also need to organize, work and give visibly. Visibility even from a small group will bring on a domino effect and in time inspire others to give to, get for or work on. 
Now my challenge to you, and my personal conviction; is for all of us is to raise the profile of Latino philanthropic work to the proportional level of our socio-demographic contribution. 

I’m proud to be a trustee of Communities Foundation of Texas where we are all committed to help raise the awareness of diversity, specifically by engaging the Latino community.     


View the photo gallery from this event 

View the presentatION SLIDES
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