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President’s Message: Never Alone


It has been a while.

I’m happy to be writing to you as we relaunch Piñata as a biweekly newsletter. Every two weeks, you can count on us to provide updates about our work, the latest information on technical assistance and grant-making for our affiliate organizations, and important policy research.

I was speaking with a colleague the other day and we were talking about Piñata and its usefulness in this age of snap-your-fingers information-gathering. He was challenging me about whether this was the most effective way to get our message out to our community-based organizations, our allies, and our supporters. I had to think about his questions but the more I did, the more I was convinced that not only is Piñata still useful, it’s more essential than at any time I can think of. The reason is simple, twice a month in these digital pages we come together as a community of interest. We learn about how to strengthen one another, about how to improve the services we provide to our communities, and about the broad policy challenges facing us at this moment of crisis. Most importantly, however, we are reminded that we aren’t alone in this fight.

Over the first half of 2018, I have been reminded more than once that the work we do is part of a broad national effort to protect our most cherished values. Values like empathy and fairness. I have seen it in Puerto Rico where we have worked with local community groups to install solar panels on community health clinics, homes and businesses that went without electricity for far too long after Hurricane Maria. I have seen it in our education advocates who fight everyday to give our youth the education and opportunities they long for. I have seen it in the mothers who have been outraged by the President’s immoral immigration policies and have driven refugee parents thousands of miles to help them reunite with their children. I have seen it in the young scholars who are volunteering their evenings to register new voters in Latino communities throughout the country. I have seen it in the leaders of our member nonprofits who are under-resourced and overwhelmed but refuse to say no to anyone who walks through their doors. I have seen it in our own staff, which is growing and tackling new challenges con ganas - with eagerness and a deep sense of urgency.

Everywhere I look I see the hard work, the effort, the belief that the vision of America offered by the current administration is an aberration; a painful aberration, to be sure, but one that will not last long. I know this because everywhere I go in our communities I see the real America. An America where neighbors come together to help one another. Where we welcome everyone because we know that we all come from somewhere else. Where the noble ideas of equality, justice, and fairness aren’t mocked and diminished, they’re honored and expanded. That America is out there, and sometimes we don’t see it very clearly, but it’s alive and it’s thriving.

And as long as we are willing to work with one another — across lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and legal status — that America will win the day.

I hope that as you read through this new issue of Piñata, you’ll be impressed by the work Hispanic Federation has done during the first half of 2018. I also hope that you’ll know that you’re not alone. Today and every day, there is an entire community standing beside you.

Con mucho cariño,