Herstory & Hispanics & Philanthropy
DE LAS RAÍCES AL FRUTO/FROM ROOTS TO FRUIT
CHANGE FROM WITHIN/EL CAMBIO DESDE ADENTRO
We are thrilled to share the online version of El Cambio Desde Adentro/Change from Within, elevating the voices of staff members and fellows from Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), a transnational organization headquartered in California with offices in New York City and Mexico City. Hispanics in Philanthropy strengthens Latino leadership, influence, and equity by leveraging philanthropic resources, and doing so with an unwavering vision on social justice and shared prosperity across the Americas.
In what was originally slated to be a six week project, Helen Dorado Alessi, who dreamed of the collaboration, Erika Duncan, our director and founder, and Laurel Janssen Breen joined with HIP's staff and members of their Líderes Network in what was one of the most remarkable writing journeys of Herstory's 25 years. Begun in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was extending over a 15-week period to lead to the production of El Cambio Desde Adentro/ Change from Within, the remarkable zine we share here. Through a series of virtual workshops on HIP’s platform, participants shed light on the untold stories of their communities and their personal life experiences.
Below are a few excerpts from the introduction to the Zine.
Historically, the lives of our communities have been destroyed, erased and ignored. In an act of resistance, these courageous Latinx authors present this zine called CHANGE FROM WITHIN emerging from the transformative series of workshops that took place this spring and summer.
WHY WE WRITE:
HIP is committed to expanding and sharpening the narrative of Latinx communities across the Americas while building el poder de nuestra gente, in the fight for social justice. At its core, CHANGE FROM WITHIN is about amplifying the voices of Latinxs working in philanthropy. We know that many of the workshop participants navigate philanthropic spaces that often assume the conformity of our identities to “fit” a stereotypical mold rooted in racist policies and outdated practices. By providing mentorship and support in the form of writing workshops, we hope to begin strengthening our participants’ ability to share their stories in a way that will move others—especially in the social and philanthropic sectors—to CARE. Putting stories into writing has everything to do with empowerment and reclamation of our voices.
A NOTE ON VOICE:
The Latinx authors in these pages come from different backgrounds, motherlands and languages—and all have one thing in common: they are fighting for justice and human rights for all sexual orientation, socio-economic class and differently-abled peoples in the philanthropic sector across the Americas.
It is important to recognize that we are all on a learning journey just like these authors. The various stages in which these authors live today create a mosaic narrative of what it means to work in philanthropy. Thank you, authors, for your willingness to learn in public, and inspiring philanthropy to dare to care.
AN INVITATION TO READ, REFLECT, AND ACT:
We see CHANGE FROM WITHIN as both a celebration of our authors’ stories and an invitation to the philanthropic community to come along on a true-life journey. Each of the authors explores life-changing moments that have shaped who they are today. In turn, they reflect on how they came to define the legacy they hope to leave and the calls to action they have for all of us.
As readers, we are forced to ask: What would it mean to see racial equity through a Latinx lens? What might the stories of Latinx folks working in philanthropy tell us about how Latinx identity, and other marginalized (though powerful) identities, intersect with daily life? All of the stories shared in this zine add their perspective to these questions. Yet, they are also a reminder that racism, sexism, classism and all forms of oppression exist even in spaces that are working towards a better world. These stories invite us to reflect on what we are doing internally, as organizations, to dismantle those systems of oppression and stop replicating those practices that affect our society. CHANGE FROM WITHIN is a call to action to practice agape and philanthropy in the pure essence of the words. .
We hope that you will join us in savoring each story, and each call to action embedded in each story, with deepest thanks to Mireille Posse, Stephanie Roman for taking us with them on the journey, to the production team that turned the Zine into a reality, and most of all to the authors whose stories we will never forget.
Deepest thanks to Helen Dorado Alessi, whose imagination is boundless when it comes to the work that Herstory needs to be doing in the world, for the creation of ever new partnerships and projects, that change our lives and the lives of Herstory forever.
To read the Zine in PDF form, click here.
For more than 40 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas.