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Latino Equity Fund

Building a future of shared prosperity for Greater Boston. 

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Aixa is the co-founder of the Latino Equity Fund (formerly the Latino Legacy Fund), a unique partnership between local Latino leaders and the Boston Foundation (TBF), and the first Latino-focused fund in the Greater Boston area. The Latino Equity Fund uses its influence and platform to amplify diverse voices and perspectives within the Latino community in Greater Boston, with a focus on achieving greater and more equitable access to economic prosperity and wellbeing. We partner closely with nonprofits, funders, government leaders, and the private sector, leveraging the strengths of the Latino community to educate stakeholders about issues and surface the most effective solutions to achieve systemic change. Since it was established in 2013, the Latino Equity Fund has raised more than $1 million, established an endowment to support the Latino community in Greater Boston in perpetuity, made more than $570,000 in grants to community-based organizations, and created a dynamic platform to increase and galvanize Latino philanthropy. 

 

Partnerships  

 

Since 2014, the Latino Equity Fund has provided annual grant opportunities for Latino-led and Latino-serving nonprofits. The program was paused in 2017, so the Latino Equity Fund could partner with the Boston Foundation to found Massachusetts United for Puerto Rico, which raised more than $4 million to organizations providing relief, recovery, and relocation support to thousands of people affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Massachusetts.

 

In 2020, as Massachusetts and the rest of the world faced a global pandemic, the Latino Equity Fund partnered with the Boston Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund to provide rapid response funds to Latino-led and Latino-serving nonprofits in Massachusetts that work with the most vulnerable populations, including immigrants and other Latinos who are experiencing the negative economic impact of the coronavirus. The Latino Equity Fund also partnered with two local community foundations, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, to better leverage funds and provide much needed resources to the Latino communities hardest hit by COVID-19 in Massachusetts. 

 

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Latino Equity Fund Grantees

 

2020

 

Latino Equity Fund & TBF COVID-19 Rapid Funding: $62,500

 

East Boston Health Center: $12,500 to assist in the acqusition of medical equipment and provision of prevention education and psychosocial support for vulnerable populations, including undocumented individuals. 

 

Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development: $12,500 to provide supportive services, including non-perishables and food items, to families and individuals in the communities of Somerville, Medford, Everett, Cambridge, and surrounding towns. 

 

The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII): $12,500 to help with the provision of high quality legal services to immigrants with little access to emergency benefits and/or housing. 

 

The Neighborhood Developers: $12,500 to continue providing multilingual and multi-channel communications about relief services, food security, and cash relief for undocumented and/or elderly tenants. 

 

The Latino Health Insurance Program (LHIP): $12,500 to virtually support Latino residents in Framingham requiring immediate help accessing basic services related to COVID-19, like unemployment benefits, and navigating their healthcare and insurance.

 

Other COVID-19 Related Grants

 

Chelsea Collaborative (La Colaborativa): $50,000 to provide basic needs and services to the community of Chelsea and enable La Colaborativa to function as an emergency fund for the city of Chelsea by providing cash stipends, food pantries and support services for a community hit hard by COVID-19.

 

Latino Equity Fund & Western Community Foundations Covid-19 Grants ($75,500)

Womanshelter Compañeras: $13,000 to continue providing emergency shelter, support groups in Spanish, and advocacy programming to victims of domestic abuse. 

 

Holyoke Health Center (MUPR Grantee): $13,000 to address the needs of Holyoke residents through extensive screening procedures, the expansion of its Urgent Care Unit, and communication of vital information. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, HCC played a pivotal role in Western Massachusetts for relocated Puerto Ricans seeking health services, especially those related to trauma. 

 

Gándara Mental Health Center (MUPR Grantee): $13,000 to continue providing essential resources to the Springfield community by supporting families with rental assistance and food and transportation vouchers, and through its telemedicine services. The Center was active in helping over 300 relocated families from Puerto Rico access critical resources after Hurricane Maria. 

 

New North Citizens Council (MUPR Grantee): $13,000 to serve the most vulnerable individuals in the community through rental and utilities assistance, and gift cards for food, gas, and clothing. New North served as a lifeline and advocate for relocated Puerto Ricans who found themselves in limbo with FEMA and housing services after Hurricane Maria. 

 

Enlace de Familias de Holyoke (MUPR Grantee): $13,000 to provide community members with mental health services, food distribution, personal hygiene kits, and support navigating COVID-19 assistance and resources. Enlace played a critical role after Hurricane Maria in the community, helping many families resettle and providing guidance to those that qualified for FEMA.

 

Latino Equity Fund & Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation ($10,500)

 

Manos Unidas Multicultural Educational Cooperative: $10,500 to provide emergency support to the Pittsfield community, including meal delivery, employment assistance, and support for those requiring virtual transitions to sustain their initiatives that were a source of economic self sufficiency. 

 

Latino Equity Fund FY20 Grants ($75,000)

Latinos for Education: $12,500 for research, report development, and marketing for a fall convening on COVID-19 Roadmap for Latino Students and Families, a report that synthesizes the impact of COVID-19 and serves as an advocacy platform to influence decision-makers on key education issues affecting Latino students in the education system.

 

Latino Education Institute at Worcester University: $20,000 to support programming for 60 relocated Puerto Ricans in re-engagement via remote learning, community-based education, and family stabilization services. 

 

Amplify Latinx: $10,000 to support the work of MassINC Polling Group in developing a first of its kind statewide survey on the impacts of the Latino community across the state. 

 

Chelsea Collaborative: $33,000 to provide residents with emergency cash grants, food, and other basic necessities. 

 

2017

 

Mujeres Unidas Avanzando (Boston): $25,000 to expand Carreras de Salud para el Futuro with support for their Certified Medical Assistant and community childcare provider training programs.

 

Project Hope (Boston): $17,500 to support ESOL training for women enrolled in Project Hope’s Family Childcare and Business Enterprise (FCCBE) network, that provides an opportunity for women in the neighborhood to manage and grow their own home-based childcare centers.

 

Margarita Muñiz Academy (Boston): $17,500 to partner with Youth Build Boston to provide instruction and stipended experience for students to transition into post-secondary careers or further education in building trades, in partnership with local community colleges.

 

Chelsea Collaborative (Chelsea): $15,000 to partner with local employers and other organizations to provide residents with training in soft skills, ESOL training (including hospitality-themed English training) and place many of them in permanent jobs.

 

2016

 

Boston Higher Education Resource Center: $20,000 to expand their culturally sensitive Passport to College (Passport) college preparatory program at the Margarita Muñiz Academy in Jamaica Plain. Passport is a college advising, mentoring, and academic enrichment program for high school students in nine Boston Public Schools.

 

Chica Project: $10,000 to support the hiring of a Program Director for Chica Project’s Empowerment Institute, a group mentoring program for 10th to 12th grade Latina youth from Boston, Lynn, and Lawrence that consists of monthly school-based workshops on topics ranging from self-identity, self-efficacy, financial literacy, professional development, college readiness, health, and more.

 

La Vida: $20,000 to provide wraparound services including test preparation, college application preparation, college visits, financial aid support, and scholarshi  application support to students in Lynn who are at risk of “undermatching,” or attending colleges for which they are overqualified, due to lack of resources and knowledge of the application process.

 

Latinos for Education: $15,000 to support the launch of their Latino Leadership and Latino Board Fellows programs in Boston. The Latino Leadership program aims to accelerate the career trajectory of Latinos in

education leadership roles through a 6-month professional development program, and the Latino Board Fellows program aims to identify, support and place Latino leaders from outside of education onto high-performing education nonprofit boards.

 

Latino STEM Alliance: $12,500 to expand their current 5th to 8th grade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) robotics programming to younger students (kindergarten to 4th grade) in one area school.

 

Student Immigrant Movement: $10,000 to support the launch of the College Access program, a mentorship and advocacy program that seeks to directly support undocumented students enrolling in Massachusetts’ colleges and universities.

 

 

2015

 

Horizons for Homeless Children: $20,000 to implement a full immersion bilingual curriculum in Horizons’ early education centers in Boston.

 

La Alianza Hispana: $25,000 to further support the expansion of the Madres y Ninos en Proceso home visiting program which integrates educational curriculum with health, child safety, parenting training and case management to ensure that mothers are better prepared to help educate and advocate for their children.

 

Nurtury: $25,000 to support Nurtury’s Family Child Care Excellence Project, which aims to increase access to highquality early education through training and professional development for Latino family child care (FCC) providers.

2014

 

Horizons for Homeless Children: $15,000 for a specialized professional development course for their bilingual staff, delivered by Wheelock College’s Aspire Institute.

 

Boricuas en Acción (IBA): $25,000 for support of a public outreach campaign to educate families in the South End and Lower Roxbury about how to access and navigate the Commonwealth’s Early Childhood Education and Care

financial assistance program. Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development

 

Corporation: $15,000 for the Educators Helping Educators program, which provides intense, individualized support for 25 Latina educators in JPNDC’s Family Childcare System.

 

La Alianza Hispana: $25,000 to support the expansion of the Madres y Ninos en Proceso home visiting program

which integrates educational curriculum with health, child safety, parenting training and case management to ensure that mothers are better prepared to help educate and advocate for their children.

 

Nurtury: $20,000 to support technology training for Latino family childcare providers focused on the Teaching Strategies Gold platform, a curriculum development and assessment tool.

 
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SPECIAL

INITIATIVES

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In 2017, the Latino Equity Fund, in partnership with the Boston Foundation, produced a first-of-its-kind report on the impact of the growth of Greater Boston's Latino population on the region's demographics and economy. The report, which has been cited in various publications about the Latino community, noted that, despite the sharp growth of Greater Boston’s Latino population since 1980, Latino representation in leadership, government, and business significantly lags the overall population percentage. 

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In December 2019, the Latino Equity Fund collaborated with the Boston Foundation to create a crucial research report which evaluated the social and economic return on investment in the region’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. It finds that vocationally-focused ESOL programs can have an almost immediate payback for students and for the community, but the number of ESOL seats of any kind for adults in Greater Boston falls woefully short of the need, with a serious shortage of programs that focus on ESOL training to enhance professional or job-related skills and opportunities.

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In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Latino Equity Fund developed a wide-reaching and culturally sensitive educational campaign that connected thousands of Spanish-speaking individuals to health and safety information and community resources for support. Latino communities that are the worst hit by the COVID-19 crisis are also among the least able to access information and resources that could bring them relief. Latinos have the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group in the U.S., and few Latinos working low-wage jobs have access to healthcare coverage. Many Latino immigrants are fearful of asking for help or making use of public health insurance and government benefits because of misinformation and policies that discourage them from accessing necessary resources. As the Cuicando Nuestra Familia digital campaign has come to an end, the positive wave of change it has generated has effectively positioned the Latino Equity Fund as a trusted source of information and support for Latino families across Massachusetts.