A Powerful Heritage — and Our Agenda
Every September/October our nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. Many don’t recognize it, and others may trivialize it. However, at The California Endowment we recognize the powerful history and impact the Latinx community has had on our nation and our lives. It really is a time to recognize extraordinary and historic leaders, and a rich culture filled with beauty, and power. A heritage that leaves a legacy of strength, determination, and grit.
As a health foundation committed to advancing health and wellness in underserved and marginalized communities, we recognize that the Latinx community has and continues to experience racially based oppression and stigmatization across our nation. Communities of color have been bedeviled by the combination of the Covid 19 pandemic and the white supremacy resurgence of the last few years, and the Latinx community has not been spared. The health impact has been devastating, the economic impact has been substantial, and the border and immigration issues have been unbelievably painful.
At TCE, our experience in supporting the work of social justice and health equity leaders in the Latinx community over the years has been far more optimistic. Our grantee-partners, a substantial number of them Latinx-led and focused, are at the forefront of advancing voice, power, and activism in service of a healthier Latinx community – and across racial and ethnic boundaries for a healthier California. Inspiring examples include:
- Eunisses Hernandez of La Defensa in Los Angeles is providing leadership to transform LA’s criminal justice system;
- Silvia Paz of Alianza in the Coachella Valley is advancing an inclusive social justice and equity agenda in partnership with local leaders;
- Dolores Huerta and her Foundation in Kern County are building from a great legacy and supporting emerging leaders and organizations in the Central Valley;
- Jacqueline Garcel of the Latino Community Foundation is leading a voice and power building agenda for a healthier and more prosperous Latinx community in California;
- Maria Lemus of Visión y Compromiso is supporting California’s most impactful “health army” of promotoras/es and community health workers, tackling the most significant health challenges faced by the Latinx community.
- Jerry Tello of the National Compadres Network who has taught us about the importance of healing and trauma informed care.
It is the impassioned, courageous work of these leaders and organizations listed above — and thousands more not listed — that embody a statewide Latinx agenda for power, voice, and health that is committed to the transformation of all communities that will benefit generations into the future.
At TCE, we are dedicated to the principle of full inclusion, and the Latinx presence at our state’s largest health foundation we believe is meaningful:
- Our Board of Directors is approximately one-third Latino – Maria Blanco, Dr. Kathy Flores, Dr. Hector Flores, Michele Siquieros, and Bishop Minerva Carcaño who serves as Chair of our Board. Our President & CEO, Dr. Bob Ross, is an Afro-Latino.
- Our staff includes 50 Latinos, roughly one-third of our staff at TCE.
- Our senior management team is one-third Latino, including our Executive Vice-President, CFO, and Communications Manager.
- In terms of our grantmaking support, Latinx-serving organizations received more than $700 million in funding from TCE in the decade from 2010 to 2019, a very fruitful investment.
The California Endowment salutes the extraordinary legacy of Latinx leadership in our great state. We commit to continue supporting new and emerging leaders and organizations that will bring full inclusion and equity to California.
Sí Se Puede,
Bishop Minerva Carcaño Dr. Bob Ross