“If you have a large community that’s growing but they’re not really prospering, society ends up losing out,” said Evelyn Barahona, in an interview soon after being appointed Director of the Latino Equity Fund (LEF) in May.
Barahona spoke with me on the most recent episode of “3 Questions With…” about the advocacy work the LEF is focused on in addressing the longstanding health and economic inequities the Massachusetts Hispanic-Latino community faces.
“Without help, there is no wealth”, said Barahona remembering how longstanding disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 inspired the advocacy group to “switch gears” in providing Hispanics-Latinos the tools necessary not only to survive but to thrive.
Barahona says the Latino Equity Fund has deployed over $360,000 in grants to the Hispanic-Latino community since the beginning of COVID-19 in the following areas related to the pandemic:
- Emergency response
- Basic necessities
- Countering food insecurity
- Supporting culturally competent communication on COVID resources
- Invested in key research related to the impact of COVID on the Latino community specifically around education, vaccine equity, and statewide survey on the status of Latino-owned businesses.
“The Latino community is growing at a very rapid rate, and when you think about it long term, you want to make sure they’re positioned to be economically prosperous, because prosperity for them also means prosperity for Boston and prosperity for Boston means prosperity for Massachusetts,” says Barahona.
Established in 2013, the Latino Equity Fund is the first Latino-focused fund in Greater Boston, and is a unique partnership of Latino philanthropists and leaders, the Boston Foundation and Hispanics in Philanthropy. Known at its inception as the Latino Legacy Fund, the fund advisory board decided in 2020 to change the fund’s name to reflect its commitment to creating a more just and equitable community for Latinos in Greater Boston.
To support the work of the Latino Equity Fund (LEF), please visit https://www.tbf.org/LatinoEquityFund or contact LEF Director, Evelyn Barahona at firstname.lastname@example.org