Advancing a ‘Shared Future’ Through Local Latino Leaders

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessStrengthening the Latino nonprofit sector in economically challenging times, the Latino Policy Forum announced that 20-plus participants from local organizations were selected to participate in the fourth cohort of its Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

The Academy invests in leadership to rectify two conflicting trends: the rising Latino population and the decrease in investment. Even as the Latino population remains one of the fastest-growing segments in the country, just 1 percent of total foundation funding in the US has been dedicated to serving Latinos over the past decade, according to a collaborative report from the Foundation Center and Hispanics in Philanthropy released in December 2011. At the state level, Latinos are 16 percent of the state population in Illinois, having grown 33 percent since 2000. But state funding to Latino organizations through its Human Services agency has dipped nearly 40 percent since Fiscal Year 2009, according to analysis from the Latino Policy Forum.

“Few programs focus specifically on building organizational and leadership skills in the Latino community. The Academy is unique in that it engages organizations across a large spectrum of size, budget and mission,” said Executive Director of the Latino Policy Forum Sylvia Puente.

Organizations sending two delegates to participate in this year’s cohort include, Blocks Together, Chicago Run, Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, El Hogar del Niño, Family Focus DuPage, San Miguel School Chicago, and West Town Leadership United. Individual participants were selected from Casa Central, Chicago Commons, Erie Neighborhood House, Family Shelter Services, La Casa Norte, The Resurrection Project and Youth Service Project. For more information, visit

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