The Changing World of Latino Philanthropy With Ana Marie Argilagos and Sam Zamarripa
In this episode of CaseyCast, host Lisa Hamilton welcomes two guests — Ana Marie Argilagos and Sam Zamarripa — who are leaders in the world of Latino philanthropy.
Argilagos is the president and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), an organization devoted to advancing Latino equity, leadership and voice across the Americas. Zamarripa, a former Georgia state senator, now runs a biotechnology firm and Spanish-language digital media company and serves on the Board of Trustees for both HIP and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
During the interview, Hamilton asks Argilagos and Zamarripa when they first intersected with philanthropy and where they think the field of Latino philanthropy is headed. Listeners will also learn about current priorities and challenges in Latino philanthropy and how the unique characteristics of Latino donors and communities play out in the philanthropic sector.
A big thank you to both Argilagos and Zamarripa for chatting with us!
Stream this CaseyCast episode on Latino philanthropy
Subscribe to CaseyCast on your favorite podcast service:
In this episode on Latino philanthropy, you’ll learn
- About the nonprofit Hispanics in Philanthropy.
- Defining characteristics of Latino donors.
- What issues matter most to Latinos.
- What the future of Latino philanthropy looks like.
- The efforts that are underway to foster the next generation of Latino leaders.
In Ana Marie Argilagos’ own words…
“What we're still working on is the stereotype that Latinos only care about immigration. We do care about immigration. But, in poll after poll after poll, it’s ranked number six or seven. Jobs, health and education — these are the issues that matter to Latinos, just like any other American.”
“If you look at kindergartens across the country, Latinos are a large number of the students and it's a large portion of the population. We need these kids powered up, ready to go, educated and in a good place to carry this country into the next generation.”
In Sam Zamarripa’s own words…
“The donor class in the Latino world is changing. Wealth today is not concentrated. It’s not legacy or inherited wealth. But it is growing, and the behaviors around the giving and the philanthropy of this wealth are also changing.”
“Philanthropy has the ability to get involved at key moments and help people navigate what's been broken in their lives. But, to do this effectively, foundations need the experience and the eyes, ears and hearts of Latino trustees.”
Resources and links
- Lisa Hamilton on Twitter
- Hispanics in Philanthropy
- Strive Together
- The Líderes Fellowship
- Latino Community Foundation
- Georgia Community Foundation
- Intent Solutions
- Mundo Hispanico
About the Podcast
CaseyCast is a podcast produced by the Casey Foundation and hosted by its President and CEO Lisa Hamilton. Each episode features Hamilton talking with a new expert about how we can build a brighter future for kids, families and communities.
Enjoy the Episode?
We hope so! Visit Apple Podcasts to subscribe to the series or leave a rating or review.
I'm Lisa Hamilton from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and this is CaseyCast.
Today we're talking about Latinos in philanthropy and I'm thrilled to be joined by two special guests who can lend their voices and perspectives to this conversation.
First, I'm joined by Ana Marie Argilagos, the president and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy, an organization whose mission is to advance Latino equity, leadership and voice across the Americas. Ana Marie has dedicated her life to public service through a career that spans the philanthropic, public and nonprofit sectors. Her previous positions include senior advisor at the Ford Foundation, deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and leadership roles at both the Casey Foundation and UnidosUS, formerly known as the National Council of LA Raza.
We're also joined by Sam Zamarripa, who has led a rich and varied career as an entrepreneur, public official and most recently a published author. The first Hispanic to serve as a Georgia state senator, Sam currently serves as president of Intent Solutions, a data service and a biotechnology firm. He is also owner and chairman of Mundo Hispanico, a Spanish-language digital media company. Sam is well known for his commitment to public service and we are so proud to have him as a member of our Board of Trustees at the Casey Foundation.
Ana Marie and Sam, welcome to CaseyCast.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
Thank you, Lisa.
Well, obviously, you've both led very accomplished yet very different careers. Still, you share a commitment and passion for philanthropy. I'd like to ask each of you, what led you to want to hold leadership roles in philanthropy.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
Lisa, most definitely, I'm an accidental philanthropist. My grandpa sent me to “typing” school. He wanted me to have a stable career and so I started as a typist at a bank, but I was lousy. So, I figured I better get myself to college and I was the first generation in my family to do that. And I started working in my own community in Washington, D.C., where I went to school and I was doing community organizing, direct services. And from there I moved to national organizations that were doing the broader systems change work at the national level. And, for sure philanthropy was by chance. Actually, my government work was also by chance. I was recruited into the world of philanthropy right here at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. So, for me, Annie Casey is my philanthropic home. It's where I cut my teeth in terms of what philanthropy is because I definitely did not study it. I learned it from my work on the ground in the communities and what I learned at the Casey Foundation.
And what made you feel like philanthropy was a good platform for the kind of change you were trying to affect in the world?
Ana Marie Argilagos:
I understood that we were not going to effect change if we worked from only one sector. So as fantastic as the nonprofit sector is — and as powerful as the government is in terms of its might and heft and dollars — if we didn't have philanthropy also working in that same direction. Also we need business. We need all the sectors working in the same direction, because there's a tug and a pull. And so that's why I felt both philanthropy and government and the nonprofit sector. If I understood all three, I could bridge diverse agendas and we could be more effective. There's few of us that have done all three to be honest.
You are absolutely right. And like you, I'm an accidental philanthropist too, so I totally understand your route to this work. Sam, I'm curious how you ended up being engaged in philanthropy.
Yeah, I'm going to take it a little slightly different tack but let me say that Ana Marie and I share the typewriter as a common motivation in things. I think of leadership just in general as a concept of just miles wide and miles deep. It's big space and it means different things to all of us. But to me, it's more like an art form.
If you were born with the urge to lead, that drive to express, to be in front of something, it's really irresistible. It's something you just cannot deny. What I think about the opportunities to get in front of something and to lead, I always ask myself, is this the highest and best use of my time today? It's my way of saying: “Am I being a good steward of what I know and what I can do?”
The opposite, there are a million things I do not know, and I cannot do. And then when the opportunity to join the Casey board came to me, I have to say it was just like putting a bowl of wonderful hot soup in front of me. I was hungry for the opportunity to taste it and to be a part of it. I didn't know anything about it, but I've learned a great deal. And so, what I would say was this wonderful confluence of someone offering me the opportunity and my own just desire to be a part of something that I thought was larger than me.
Had you connected with philanthropy or been engaged with philanthropy in your previous roles in business or as a legislator?
No. Only similar to the Ana in the sense that I had a fairly active participation in nonprofits who are on the edge of philanthropy, but more on the receiving end. I understood the dynamic, but I did not understand all the particulars that I've come to understand now years into the role.
Well, you both had different paths, but we are so grateful to have both of you in this part of the nonprofit world.
I'd like to understand more about the word “philanthropy” and what it means to each of you. Often, we think that it's just about financial contributions, but I'm curious if each of you have a broader definition of philanthropy. I'll start with you, Sam.
Ana and I talked about this last time we were together, and I personally like the Greek root, the idea of love of man, love of humanity. I just think that that is such a compelling idea. It's a big-sky concept with a lot of room for an ethical, religious, moral, spiritual ambition. The money then follows that inspiration; the big sky idea. The idea that you, an individual, can form something for perpetuity that expresses their version of love for humanity, I think is one of the most compelling ideas out there. And so, when I think about the work of the Casey Foundation and the work of HIP, I think of it as an expression of love. And I'm real comfortable with that as the root of why I'm involved in it myself.
That's great. And I should have mentioned that Sam, you're on the board of Hispanics in Philanthropy, so you are a common trustee for both of us.
Yes, I am a proud member.
That's great. How about you, Ana Marie? What does the word philanthropy mean to you?.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
I think that we both define it in the same way. So, it's about love of humanity. So, it's not about a check book. It's in your gut. It’s in your heart. It's physical as well as cerebral. And to me, it's as simple as that.
At HIP, we spend a lot of time nurturing that because we think that philanthropy is not just big key foundations, but it's the everyday givers. And I know and, I've seen it in study after study, that the Latino community is inherently really generous and people give of their time, they give their money and they give at extremely high rates. It just, giving in the Latino community looks very different and it's more relational and so it doesn't tend to show up in the same ways that we tend to capture how philanthropy happens in the U.S., which is through United Ways and through community foundations and through donor-advised funds.
And so, at HIP, we're trying to figure out how we capture that so that it can show up, be identified and be aggregated and be visible. And it'll help us demystify this myth about Latinos as takers, because we are givers.
I think this is a great transition to the next question I wanted to ask you was about the work of Hispanics in Philanthropy, what you do that's unique and what's unique about Latino philanthropy? You started talking about that a little bit. But you also connect to Latinos who work in philanthropy. So curious about your work and the kinds of members you represent.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
That's right. We were birthed almost 40 years ago by three Latinos, which was the whole spear of the world of Latinos in philanthropy at the time in the early 80s. And they were really hungry to connect with each other and to increase the number, not just of Latinos that were working in the sector, but also of people who understood the community and really with a realization, that nobody can deny, that unless you have people that understand the issues that happen out there and are closed to the problem solving, you're not going to really get a good solution. And so, they were trying to address the accountability and the knowledge within philanthropy so that there would be better foundation giving.
But over the years, over the decades, we've really morphed and, today, we have different faces addressing different needs that have cropped up over the decades. Again, understanding that foundations alone are not going to solve problems, I would say that our different faces really land around this issue of better and more resources. How do we get more dollars into communities? And I'll say that we work both in the U.S., in Latin America and in the Caribbean.
So, we're about better and more resources. How do we leverage that, aggregate that? We're about democratizing philanthropy, which is how do we create on ramps so that's everyday givers, everyone like my mom, my tias, my daughter and my brothers can figure out very easily how to give. So, it's not difficult. Leadership development: so, getting more people in places where they feel they have agency and voice. And the last is really, really important is agenda setting, influence, what I would call, like everything that gives voice to what I feel is an invisible community, oftentimes. In the end, it's about giving and connecting. It's about aggregating and leveraging dollars.
And you started talking initially about what you thought was unique about Latino philanthropy. You were starting to say it wasn't just about the financial contributions themselves, but that there were other ways Latinos give in their community. Would you expound on that a little?
Ana Marie Argilagos:
I'm broadly generalizing here, we as a community have distrusted institutions and governments. And so, we prefer to give on a one-on-one to a person. So, I rather potentially, if I'm ... Donya Carlin, she'll prefer to go and give to her church or to give the person on the street that she knows needs a meal, rather than give to the United Way or to the community foundation. There's just a preference to have that person-to-person touch. There's also the strong giving in the church and strong giving to education, but again, at a very local and personal level.
There's also a lot of giving around remittances, which could be to your direct families, but it also gives it around hometown associations for example.
Sam, I want to ask you about your perspective on these issues. You're both an individual philanthropist and a trustee of Casey. Would you answer this question differently about what's unique about Latino philanthropy? And maybe what might be unique about the way you make your own grant-making decisions or the perspective you bring to the Casey Foundation's work?
I liked very much what Ana said, but I think a little differently about this. I love the question, because it makes me think about my own relationship between money and choices. And frankly, as I thought about it, it reminded me of the first time I really thought about money and choices. And it was sort of, I was a kid and I watched the 1950s television program, “The Millionaire,” with the famous actor Marvin Miller. And the idea that someone would actually physically knock on your door and give you, and in our case, there are very, very modest family, a million dollars was so exciting. The idea that you have a million dollars to do anything you wanted. And I think that that philanthropy is a little bit like that. There's a little bit of a relationship, a little childlike wonder in all of us involved in philanthropy, because we're asking us of what is possible, what could we do.
And, over time as you ask those questions, which we do every day at the Casey Foundation, which Ana does every day at HIP. Over time, the wonder, childlike wonder meets the hard realities of what poverty is like and what the trauma of our many social ills are like. And putting the wonder and that reality together in one's life is where your perspective comes from, is where your perspective on how you grant and how you give and why you give and how do you know that is the right thing to do. That's where the perspective, my perspective was born. And so, my thinking has changed over time. But today, I tried very hard to reference what I know about the growing Latino world in the U.S. that Ana has talked about. About the trauma, fear, about the hardships of children and households with mixed immigration status.
Today there are almost 2.3 million mixed households in the U.S., and this has a big impact on our future on education, healthcare, et cetera. And to our very concept of what it means to be an American — and I think that should be a concern to all of us. And so, when I think about it today and think about this question you asked, which I, as I said, I love the question, I thought about my own childhood and how I saw money and thought about money, then I think today of what my responsibility is to draw on the experiences that I've had and to make the best decision.
I think that is such a wonderful description of what I think all of us in philanthropy are trying to do draw on, not just research and knowledge, but just our own sense of humanity and to imagine what's possible for others. So, I think that is a beautiful answer and a perspective that both of you have offered.
Sam, you started talking about some of the current challenges that are facing the Latino community. And I wanted to ask, either or both of you, as the Latino population has grown in the U.S., what kinds of changes have you seen in grant making practices and the kinds of issues that are being addressed?
I think Ana gave a really nice picture of where the giving takes place. And I think like a lot of the questions that we're talking about today, the answers are a little bit dynamic, because the donor class in the Latino world is changing. Wealth today is not concentrated, and neither is it legacy or inherited wealth, but it is wealth that is growing and emerging and the behaviors around the giving and the philanthropy of that wealth is changing. I tend to think that it's one part of a larger issue that relates to the ethnic and racial tapestry of the United States that's really now becoming foundational. It's not an exception. It's not going to change. It has changed.
And in the same way we think about it that all politics is local, we now understand that poverty and all of its implications are local too. The experience of a dreamer from Mexico is different from an African American child growing up in Clayton County, Georgia. They may have poverty in common, but the way it expresses itself, the externalities associated with it are different and they must be addressed uniquely. And this kind of understanding, this nuance is taking shape, through the efforts of HIP and many other organizations and individuals who are trying to redefine and refine our understanding of poverty in America. So, I think that this concept of what's happening with the donor class in the Latino world is taking place in the context of this dynamic change that is taking place everywhere by the way. It's not in just the coast. It's in the South, it's in the North, it's in the Midwest and it's in small and large towns.
Absolutely. And so, Ana Marie, I want to ask you the question in a slightly different way. I went on a visit with HIP to the U.S.-Mexico border last year because I was desperate to learn more about the current immigration issues and what was going on with children and families. And I know that was just one way that HIP helped expand my understanding in a really personal experience. How are you and HIP helping philanthropists, both those who are Latino but others of us in philanthropy, understand these issues and understand how we need to think differently to address them?
Ana Marie Argilagos:
Given that we see this increasing emphasis that really foundations are taking so, so seriously on racial equity and racial justice, our community is finally becoming more visible and as we start to unpack what that means and that is re-centering race, but also looking at ethnicity, class, immigration status and all of these intersectional ways of looking. That has really been a profound change for the positive.
I think what we're still working on is the stereotypes about that Latinos only care about my immigration. And, we do care about immigration, but in poll after poll after poll, it shows that migration is high, but it's on the bottom of… it's like number seven, six or seven. It's not number one, two or three. Jobs, health, education, those are the ones that come up just like any other Americans. So those are the things in terms of what are the changes that we're seeing and that we are working day in, day out to really address so that donors understand.
In terms of what I see as changing. Ten years ago, HIP partnered with what was then the Foundation Center (it's now Candid) to do our reporting as to what philanthropy looked like, what was giving, for the Latinx community in the US. And 10 years ago, it showed up as 1% of total philanthropic giving was dedicated to Latino serving, Latino led organizations. So fast forward, we did a study which was released just this past summer and it's in the form of a dashboard. And so, you can all access it and it's evergreen and it's interactive. So, it's really cool. It's called Latinxfunders.org. And so, it was a collaboration with Candid and it shows a total funding. And the Latino population, 10 years ago was it about 14–15% of the population? Today we're at about 18%. So, we're at 58 million strong just in the mainland. That doesn't include what the Puerto Rico, if you include Puerto Rico it’s over 60 million, but it shows who are the top funders, who are the top recipients.
It also shows that, that number is a little sticky. We're still at 1% of total philanthropic funding. This is with more philanthropies who are out to doing more funding and with a bigger community. So, to me this is not flat funding. To me this is decreasing resources. And so ever since we got this report this summer, we had been really thinking about what does this mean? What are the repercussions of these resources, which are in fact shrinking dollars? Also, I would set say that most of the money is going to education.
You've highlighted the fact that we need to have more resources going to support this growing part of our community. Thank you for lifting up that data and for helping our listeners know where they can get more information.
I'd love to talk about this intersection between the political landscape and about Latino philanthropy. I appreciate the range of issues that you outlined, and the Ana Marie that Latino givers are interested in everything from jobs and health and education and including immigration issues and all of those obviously are impacted greatly by the policy decisions that leaders make. I'm curious how your philanthropies that you connect with are looking at advocacy as a way to address these issues and to also hear from you, Sam as a former elected official, how you see the growing number of Latino elected officials changing the policy landscape for kids and families.
So, why don't I start with you first Ana Marie to talk about how your donors are understanding advocacy as a pathway to address the range of issues they care about.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
Lisa, you’re on the board of Strive [Together] and I love the tagline about together we're unstoppable and that's how we're looking at advocacy these days. It's like how does the Latino community partner with the African American, with the Muslim, with the Jewish community and with all of the others because it has to be together, it has to be intersectional and that's the only one that will be successful, rather than splintering off. But also, the Latino community has an advantage in terms of the partnering and bridging because Latinos as are not only one race. We present as white as for Afro Latinos, as indigenous Latinos and so many other ways that we do present. And so that puts us as a natural community in which we can all come around together. And at HIP, we've been working very, very diligently and intentionally to be this center of gravity, which includes all of the communities.
I also want to say something that's wearing me a lot lately, which is given that we work with advocates and community organizers and first responders, usually philanthropists think about the work, the actual organizing work, and we've been really good over the past generation, of giving and understanding that the best solutions come from the impacted communities themselves and to include these communities in the work and to include them in as foundation program officers and things like that. But when the frontline responders are also developed doing the work as a philanthropist, there is a whole level of trauma and grief and exhaustion that is thread into the work on many different levels. And I think that we're only starting to understand what that means when the people that are actually doing the work on several different levels and bringing it home with them. And I think that's the next generation of what we need to be thinking about. How do we support, all of those that are both first-line responders living in the space and also, trying to do the giving?
Sam, I asked you a question related to the intersection of advocacy and philanthropy. You're a former elected official, you served in the Georgia Senate. How do you see the growing number of Latino elected officials changing the policy landscape? I'm particularly interested in kids and families, but in general, how do you think that's affecting the policy decisions you're seeing?
This is a dynamic space as well. And today we have some 40 odd members of the United States Congress who are Latino. And then, according to NALEO, there are some 6,000, elected officials and various county, state, local positions and growing.
So, I think this is a dynamic that is fully underway and you're going to see very, very large numbers of men and women take political positions both elected and appointed. And they're going to do so with a kind of enthusiasm and zeal which is really representative of their fundamental belief in the democracy and government and politics. That said, politics is only one of the levers that we have at our disposal. And it's an important one, but it is no substitute for some of the things that Ana was talking about a moment ago related to the local engagement. And neither by the way, is it a substitute for the other things that influence the way we live. And those things include culture and music and art and poetry and literature and the intellectual thinkers who are willing to talk about this new American tapestry, this extremely colorful, rich world that now is everywhere in America.
And I think that once those things align with politics, then I think politics can make its more long-term contribution. In the short-term, a lot of politics will be about the first than the fights and a lot of the disagreements that are so present in our culture today. But over time, culture and art and poetry will have just as big an impact on how we think about this and how we embrace it as political leaders.
Well, you both mentioned leadership both at the outset of this conversation and then in this discussion about the political leadership of the country. I know that HIP is particularly interested in fostering the next generation of Latino leaders. I'd love to hear how you are doing that.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
We have a fabulous leadership program, which is called Líderes and it's aimed at mid-career professionals that have been in the sector for a while. I find that we are getting them in and there's a strong pipeline, but they get disenchanted after they've been in the sector for a few years. And that's the person that we're addressing. Those that have been in there for a few years and that are looking to think about how they can actually be more meaningful, how they can connect to other Latinos in the sector that are at that same stage in their lives.
And so, it's been incredibly exciting to be able to foster four cohorts now. We are right now also recruiting for the fifth cohort and it includes two-thirds foundation program officers and one-third folks from the nonprofit space that are interested in going to philanthropy, because we want to make sure that they're prepared. When I landed at Annie E. Casey 20 years ago, I had never been in philanthropy. I had never known anybody who had worked in philanthropy. And so, with the brand, it was like I had landed in Mars. And so, what we want to do is make sure that those that are likely going to be applying and going into philanthropy have a little bit of a built-in network and that they're in a place where they're readier to be successful.
Sam, I want to ask you about leadership from a different perspective. You're a trustee of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and you've been partnering with Ana Marie and HIP to help increase the number of Latino trustees in foundations. Share with our listeners why you think this is so important and what the two of you are working on to try to increase those numbers.
Well, thanks in large part to the leadership of Ana's predecessors and her leadership, I was really attracted to the work of HIP. I think of the many organizations that I have gotten to know and participated with, I think HIP has a right-on-time mission today. And at this juncture in my career, I'm not looking for opportunities. I'm looking for opportunities where I think I have there is a best fit as I said at the top of this interview. I'm looking for things that are right for me. What was it that Sam Zamarripa uniquely knows and what can he do with his experience? Because there's lots of things I can't do.
And so, when I witnessed the conferences that HIP, I came away with this impression that the world had not only changed in the way that I had expected, the world had changed in a larger way than I expected. The leaders were more vocal, they were more dynamic, they were more youthful, they were more energized, they were more passionate, they were more informed, and they came from every walk of life and they were touching every conceivable aspect of the philanthropy world with their views. And I thought to myself, wow, this is really remarkable. And what's my role in all of that? Am I just on the receiving end? Am I just going to be a watcher, a cheerleader for it? Or how can I help a group that is that powerful and that inspired?
And it occurred to me that the only thing that I could do is what I've always done, which is to try to open doors and to try to create conversations around how important it is to have Latino voices at the table. Have that lens at the table, especially at the trustee level to help navigate this future that is not only in front of us. It is right in front of us. It's at our door and that future, while it is wonderful and promising, it's also filled up with the scourge of poverty. It's filled up with kids whose lives have been traumatized. It's filled up with people who are undereducated. It's filled up with people whose dreams have been damaged and these people are coming, these children are coming into our schools, our elementary schools, our junior highs are high schools, our colleges, they're coming into our workforce. They're going to be, doctors are going to be lawyers. They're going to be truck drivers. They're going to represent every facet of our world.
And what philanthropy does really well is philanthropy has the ability to get involved at key moments in people's lives and to help them navigate what's been broken in their lives. But to do that effectively, foundations needs the experience and the eyes and the ears and the hearts of Latino trustees. People who can understand what they're looking at, people who can articulate why something is different and what the nuance is in this population that's coming.
So I got involved in this process that internally we're calling the Imperative Campaign to selectively go out and meet with some of the leading foundations in the United States and to talk with their leadership about the importance of this change that is here, and the importance of engaging Latino professionals and leaders at the trustee level to help guide these decisions and to make them relevant, not only in strategy, but to make them relevant to the people that are being helped. And that's what we're doing today through HIP.
That is wonderful. We are so honored and delighted and better because we have you and we have another Hispanic trustee, Diana Bontá, on our board. And it's great that we are able to benefit from your insights, but even more wonderful to see the ways that you are trying to change the field so that many more organizations benefit from your leadership and from the wisdom of a Hispanic trustees. So, thank you very much for doing that. And Ana Marie, thank you for your partnership in this work.
The last question I'd like to ask both of you is what makes you hopeful? What makes you excited about what's possible and what's next for Latino philanthropy? I'll ask you first. Ana Marie.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
I'm really excited because I see so much energy and excitement. When I started a listening tour a year and a half ago, I saw Latino Community Foundation doing extraordinary work in the Bay Area in San Diego, you have another giving circle. You have mutual help associations in Puerto Rico. I went to Georgia when I met Sam and I met people like Gigi Padreza running the new Georgia Community Foundation. There's one in Denver. I just had conversation last week with groups of people in Michigan and Arizona that also want to start giving circles and community foundations. We're starting a power up fund now, which will be an impact investing fund, which will leverage the philanthropic resources with other kinds of investments in Latino enterprises.
And so, there are not just a couple of dots across the country. There are many dots that come across the country. We're starting to connect them and they're taking energy as Sam said. And once this like flywheel goes into motion, it's going to just keep on going. And so that's exciting and it's also very timely because we are a young community. If you look at kindergartens across the country, Latinos are a large number of the students and it's a large portion of the population and we need these kids powered up, ready to go, educated and in a good place to carry this country into the next generation. So that makes me optimistic.
It's just very clear to me that there is a story to be told. It's a very rich story. It's a uniquely American story. And there's no absence of anecdote or stories that can be embellished to connect what we're talking about to everyone. Everyone understands the struggle of the dreamer because it's not only a story about a kid who has hopes, it's uniquely American. It is about the dream that the American experience promises. And so, I hear everything Ana is saying, and I go “yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.” And then I think, wow, we can tell the story in ways that people can understand that. And just like Martin Luther King, his admonition that we all be cheerleaders or drum majors for justice. I just think it makes the story easy and I think it's very promising and very exciting. And I'm glad to just be watching it from my little place in the Southern United States.
Well, I appreciate all of that the two of you have shared with us about the changes that are underway in the philanthropic sector, but more importantly the changes that are underway and have happened in the Latino community in the United States. The kinds of issues that they're grappling with and the new and creative ways we need to partner with those communities in order to address those issues.
And I know one of the things that makes me excited is knowing that there are leaders like the two of you on the forefront of this movement. So, thank you for sharing both of your stories and your perspective and for joining us here on the Casey podcast.
Ana Marie Argilagos:
Thank you. This has been so much fun.
We're your biggest fans, Lisa, thank you.
Thank you. And I want to thank our listeners for joining us as well.
If you've enjoyed today's conversation, recommend Casey Cast to a friend. You can subscribe on Apple podcast, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and now Spotify.
To learn more about Casey and the work of our guests, you can find our show notes at aecf.org/podcast. We also invite you to subscribe to our newsletters at aecf.org/newsletters.
Until next time, I wish all of America's kids — and all of you — a bright future.