2019 | A Year of Reconnecting with My Purpose
Kate Seely, Director, Leadership, Culture and Community, Northern California Grantmakers
I won’t forget the night I attended the Latino Community Foundation’s first ever Demo Day for their Latino Nonprofit Accelerator. It was that night that I felt part of something different, something powerful. It felt even more significant given what we are living today. I had the honor of listening to pitches from courageous and committed grassroots leaders supporting immigrant families and pushing back against the construction of a wall, folks who challenge the criminal justice system and support formerly incarcerated youth to lead, organizations who advocate for better education, provide hope, and build power. All this brilliance at a tech-inspired Demo Day!
Working in philanthropy, I feel one step removed from much of the good work that is happening across the country. At LCF, the energy felt different.
I have some Latino roots in me, somewhere. I’ve spent my life connecting with different Latin American communities and have loved all the time I have spent living, studying, and working there. Most recently I spent four years in Oaxaca, Mexico, with Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, an organization I co-founded. It is my second home, and the culture feeds me and resonates deeply. The warmth, the hospitality, the noise, the colors, the history, the pride. I’ve been feeling disconnected with that side of myself lately. I had no idea how much this night would reignite that connection, that love.
At the Demo Day, I experienced a sense of inclusion and belonging that had me brimming with joy. The leaders involved in the first cohort of the Latino Nonprofit Accelerator had clearly been through a rewarding and transformational experience with Masha and the LCF Accelerator team. Most importantly, it seemed they had developed true community with their fellow participants. In the face of all the toxic rhetoric and pain we are experiencing right now, I wholeheartedly believe that the only way to get through is with others—with our hearts open, with love, and with our values intact.
When I connect with my deepest purpose in this life, it is to bring more positive energy and connection to our world, to my community, and to this work. I am inspired by LCF and the work they are doing to reimagine philanthropy and for the love they bring to the philanthropic community. As a result, I just joined LCF’s San Francisco Latina Giving Circle and am exploring joining a board. I feel completely renewed, hopeful, and re-engaged— and I can’t wait for more.
Don’t believe me, check out the DEMO DAY video and see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkfEpgcsfZs&t=5s