Announcing LCF GALA Grantees!

Latino youth are the fastest growing demographic in the state of California… and It’s time to invest in their leadership. That’s what we did at this year’s Gala!

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, young Latinos are optimistic about their future, place a high value on education, hard work and career success. Unfortunately, their actual circumstances do not align with their optimism. Latino youth are the least likely of all ethnic groups to graduate high school and attain a college degree. Currently, only 12% have earned a college degree. The majority of all students in California’s public schools are now Latino and they are California’s future.

At this year’s Gala, and thanks to your generosity, we raised $32,000 for our Fund-a-Need and are awarding grants to six Latino-led organizations that work with Latino youth – include The Bay Area Gardener’s Scholarship Foundation, North Bay Organizing Project, CDTech-LA, Carecen-SF, Youth Alliance, Latino Family Fund de Gilroy. In addition, we raised $9,000 for the Next Generation Latino Giving Circle program which offers scholarships to support emerging philanthropists in our community. Last but not least, we also raised $24,500 to support two Program Interns at LCF. 


Bay Area Gardener’s Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to students in the Bay Area, where a large immigrant community resides and seeks higher education but lacks financial resources. Led by their founder, Catalino Tapia, this Foundation proves everyday that anyone can be a philanthropist. With their fund-a-need donation they will be able to support their recent cohort of 31 scholarship recipients with a laptop to supplement their undergraduate experience.

“This grant has come to us at a perfect time! We are celebrating our 10th anniversary and now be will be able to give laptops to each one of our 31 scholarships recipients. We are extremely thankful for our partnership and we know our students will be too when receiving those laptops on Saturday July 9th at our 10th Annual Gala and Recognition Dinner!”

Click here to buy tickets to their BAGSF’s 10th Anniversary Gala!


North Bay Organizing Project (NBOP) unites diverse leaders to build leadership and grassroots power for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice. With the active participation of member organizations, including Day Labor Centers, Latino-led Family Resource Centers, Churches and Congregations, NBOP is building a powerful vehicle for civic leadership and effective grassroots organizing. The Integrated Voter Engagement Team and the Latino Student Congress are currently focused on door to door canvassing, voter registration and local and regional GOTV activities.

NBOP led and recently won Santa Rosa’s first rent stabilization ordinance and helped San Mateo gather signatures for a similar rent stabilization and just cause eviction in partnership with Faith In Action Bay Area. Sonoma County’s housing shortage is among the worst in the U.S., with many working families unable to afford rent, and with multiple families crowding into 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. Recent Coverage on NPR.

“Thank you Latino Community Foundation for this investment in our work and in our grassroots leaders. Voting is not a spectator sport. We make our neighborhood count!”

CDTech equips South LA residents and youth to invest in each other’s lives and to transform their neighborhoods. A nonprofit organization with 20 years of experience in South LA, CDTech combines grassroots participation with strategic policy understanding.  CDTech trains community members on how to canvass door-to-door to engage, listen and educate their fellow residents on vital issues. Leveraging this connection, CDTech creates community development and economic development programs that incorporate deep insight into the actual needs, desires and capabilities of South LA residents. With this fund-a-need grant they will provide mentorship, leadership development and job training to Latino Community College Students in South Los Angeles aspiring for a carer in STEM. 

“What an honor it is for CDTech to be the very first LCF Grantee in Southern California!  This is the start of building a powerful new relationship that will bring new focus and new faces to address the issues of Southern California’s Latino communities and to create new locally-led investments in equitable development of the region’s next generation of Latino leaders.”

CARECEN-SF provides vital services and engages in community development and advocacy to help create a vibrant and thriving Latino immigrant community in San Francisco’s Mission District and beyond. With this fund-a-need grant, CARECEN will help provide a second chance to Latino kids from the Mission District who are coming out of juvenile detention.

“We are thrilled about the Latino Community Foundation gift!  Thank you for your partnership and support.  The entire CARECEN team is pleased with this generous donation and the Second Chance Youth Program will use the funds to continue to reach young people in the community. “

youth allianceYouth Alliance offer a safe space for youth to find their purpose and path, all while becoming active members of a community that is caring, knowledgeable,  creative, and above all else inclusive. Youth Alliance strives to create thriving and equitable communities through comprehensive, innovative and culturally relevant services that equip youth and families to become change agents in their own lives and in their community. Their fund-a-need grant will be used to provide young Latino men from San Benito an opportunity to learn about their culture, become civically engaged, and instill a sense of hope and purpose.

“Youth Alliance is privileged to be funded by the Latino Community Foundation to further our work in developing the next generation of Latino leaders in the Central Coast. We sincerely thank you for believing in us.”


GILROY 2Latino Family Fund de Gilroy builds the confidence of Latino middle school students through an innovative grant giving program in Gilroy, California. The Latino Family Fund de Gilroy increases the participation and visibility of Latinos in the philanthropic sector and instills youth with a commitment to giving back and leadership in their community.

With their fund-a-need grant they will be able to provide middle school students in Gilroy the opportunity to be mentored by philanthropic leaders, experience first-hand the art and science of grantmaking, and become civically engaged in their communities.

Empowering Change – LCF Sacramento Summit 2015


There is nothing more inspiring than seeing a room filled with motivated Latino leaders!

Last week we brought together more than 170 community leaders and advocates in Sacramento for our 3rd annual California Latino Agenda, Sacramento Summit.

The Sacramento Summit, filled the room with shared personal stories, inspiration and newfound connections with leaders from across the field. Senator Ricardo Lara and Jeanette Zanipatin kicked off the morning with a focus on civic engagement and critical Latino bills. Both Jerry Tello and Maria Lemus reminded us to draw from the power of our culture to make a difference in our communities.

Our afternoon keynote speaker Akaya Windwood said that she felt at home. She reminded leaders to focus on living a life of purpose and balance. We ended the day with our incredible youth panel – Abraham, Imelda, and Sandy – who demonstrate that despite the setbacks, our young people are equipped with tremendous resilience and energized to create a better tomorrow.

Gracias to all of our attendees, our inspiring speakers, and our community! Together, we are inspiring action, empowering change, and transforming Latino communities. Thank you to Southwest Airlines for being LCF’s official airline.

To access resources that were made available during the Summit, click here.



Our Latino Road Map to Healing and Wellness: Building a National Model


By: Angela Gallegos-Castillo PhD, Community Builder/Planner

Just three years ago, hundreds of community members—mothers and fathers, teachers, youth,  abuelos and abuelas, counselor, and nonprofit leaders in the Mission District of San Francisco came together and said YA BASTA to the senseless violence and deaths of six Latino youth within a five-week period.  Over 500 residents responded to “el grito” and came together to collectively identify community solutions. “No more business as usual. No more watching our kids fall through the bureaucratic cracks” they said.

After several town halls and many workgroup meetings later, the community process produced the Roadmap to Peace: A Community Proposal (RTP), a five-year community-driven systems reform initiative. This proposal is based on the knowledge we all know:  that the longer youth remain disconnected, the more they are exposed to increased risks that can ultimately lead to prison or death. The RTP seeks to change that path by providing an effective alternative. Rather than asking youth to accommodate to bureaucratic processes, the RTP builds systems around the needs of youth. How?

First, Rood Map to Peace is rooted in community-based knowledge and solutions. We, the compilation of the Latino community: teachers, service providers, abuelos, parents, family members etc. have the cultural and linguistic knowledge and wisdom to effectively support the healing of our young men and women. We know that to effectively facilitate youth’s journey to healing and wellness, we must embrace restorative justice, resiliency, trauma-informed, and intergenerational principles; our approach must be holistic and coordinated.

Second, the Rood Map to Peace promotes on-demand services. This concept has been raised numerous times for various issues, and there’s a reason. It’s essential for disconnected youth. Linking youth to support and services when THEY need it is pretty revolutionary. Currently, youth and their families wait—sometimes as long as three months— for help. By the time youth can finally be seen, their problems have worsened. On-demand services means youth and their families can receive care without waiting, thereby warding off increased risks.

Third, is the notion of shared care conferencing. Remember when it was said that “it takes a village?” But what happens if the villagers don’t have a process for communicating about the developing needs of each youth? That’s the system we currently have. On average, a disconnected youth typically needs support for housing, healthcare, education, job training, and behavioral support. That usually means s/he must work with five or more service providers, most of whom don’t talk with each other about that one youth. Services and solutions remain in silos, leaving young person frustrated with an overly bureaucratic system. We aim to create a coordinated, integrated service network that communicates together to create a human safety net for each young person so they don’t fall through the cracks.

Fourth, Rood Map to Peace is also tackling policy reforms. Existing policies around juvenile justice, program budgeting targeting disconnected youth, and police responses to neighborhood violence must be revisited with an eye towards social justice and equity. For example, we know the restorative justice framework is healing and effective at reducing violence and conflict. However this framework has yet to be adopted in most school districts as the strategy for reducing suspensions and expulsions. It’s time to integrate policies that support equity, social justice and healing into current systems. Advocating for these and other policy changes will go far in the creation of positive, healthy options and connections for young people, their families and the communities they live in.

IT’s TIME! Together, as an organized and collective voice, we can make a difference in how we engage, inform and support the healing of our Latina/o youth and their families and collectively change the institutional practices that don’t work. As they say, “If not us, then who?”

Come join us! We are seeking partners – youth, residents, agencies and institutions – in San Francisco who are interested in peace-making and strengthening community connections among our youth. Please contact us if you would like to assist or if you’d like more information. Please contact Angela Gallegos-Castillo at

in the streets


Road Map to Peace Partnership

The Road Map to Peace initiative is directed by a colectiva that encompasses the following members:  community residents, Instituto Familiar de la Raza, Mission Peace Collaborative, CARECEN of San Francisco, Mission Neighborhood Health Center, Mission Neighborhood Centers, Bay Area Community Resources (CHALK), Asian Neighborhood Design, Five Keys Charter School, Mission Peace Collaborative, Horizons, Inc., UCSF Clinical and Translation Science Institute, and SFSU Cesar Chavez Institute. The mission of the RTP is increase the economic security, health and safety of San Francisco Latina/o youth in the Mission district and citywide.Roadmap to peace


Change happens…One Day at a Time


I was a sophomore in high school when I met Johnny Rodriguez. He wasn’t a teacher, a cop, or a counselor. He was a guy that looked like the people in my neighborhood. We spoke the same language, but he had something different to say. He also cared about what I had to say. For some reason, he believed I was much more than what I believed. There’s something special that happens inside of you when you meet someone who believes in you more than you believe in yourself. Change happens.

What was different about Johnny is that he believed in all of us, no matter what we looked like, what we had done, or what we had been through. As a young Latino from a rough neighborhood, I felt good about not being judged. I felt confident. I felt empowered!

Johnny stood by me and my friends through thick and thin, and he did the same for many others. He dedicated himself to helping us all believe in ourselves.  ODAT is the manifestation of what Johnny did for us back then and what we all strive to do today.

One Day at a Time (ODAT) means different things to different people. But the essence is the same. We create familia. Some have said,

  • “ODAT is a place where you can share who you are, what you are, and not be judged.”
  • “ODAT creates a sense of belonging. A family where all differences are accepted and admired.”
  • “ODAT saved my life.”

If you asked me, I’d say ODAT creates a family culture and a belief that your son, daughter, grandchild, or nephew can reach their greatest potential if they have the support and opportunities they deserve.

Today, I am grateful to come back to serve in Brentwood as the Development & Business Manager for ODAT, an organization that was created by my mentor. Johnny, who is still my mentor and our Executive Director, taught me that, “You can’t change people. You can only give them opportunities to see life in a different way. Change won’t come overnight; it happens One Day At a Time.”


One Day At a Time or ODAT was founded in 1997 and is a Latino-based organization dedicated to providing positive educational and personal growth opportunities to young adults in East Contra Costa County and San Joaquin County. ODAT youth build better relationships with other peers, improve relationships at home and also perform better academically. We achieve this by providing a supportive network of peers and adults, promoting positive lifestyles, enhancing educational learning experiences, and developing decision-making skills that empower young leaders to realize their full potential.


By Ramiro Ibarra, Development and Business Manager at ODAT

Romero Ibarra