What’s your favorite memory from your childhood and why?
“I grew up in the Midwest but loved the roadtrips my family took to see relatives in central México every other summer. In a van loaded with gifts, snacks, cousins, and lots of laughter, I got to see different parts of two different countries, from Michigan down to Guanajuato. Sometimes we prayed, sometimes we sang, searching until Spanish-language radio stations started to come in. My love of travel, storytelling, and culture come from those hot summer journeys.”
What attracted you to the Latino Community Foundation?
“Truly, it was the organization’s values. It was clear that LCF’s mission was simple and strong: to unleash the power of Latinos in California. The foundation’s commitment to trust, family & unity, leading from a place of strength, change not charity, and hope aligned with my own values for social justice and change. Specifically, I was attracted to the efforts to reach more rural communities, such as the Central Valley. Communities like Fresno, Salinas, and other heavily Latinx areas, often get overlooked in the greater conversation about “California.” LCF is working to strategically and systemically empower organizations doing great work in these neglected parts of the state. Ultimately, that approach — to always keep in mind who may be excluded — is what I love about LCF. “
What does Economic Justice mean to you?
“To put it simply, it is the belief that we should all have the fair opportunity to thrive. Economic justice is not only an idea but a goal if we consider the moral and ethical implications of our current system — one in which there are widespread and extreme inequities. Economic justice, when achieved, means communities have what they need to live a dignified and productive life. “
What change do you hope to see in the Latino community?
“I hope to see increased solidarity and a commitment to an intersectional lens. I am completely invigorated by the recent waves of activism, especially from youth of color. I hope that the Latinx community continues to fight systemic oppressions while also standing in support alongside other identities facing similar struggles. I want us to show up for others. I also hope we continue to expand the idea of who is “Latinx” by being more supportive of folks who are indigenous, Afro-Latinx, trans, disabled and other marginalized identities. What narratives are we centering… and who are we leaving out? “
What is your purpose in life and how does LCF help you get closer to it?
“The work that LCF supports goes hand in hand with my own life’s purpose, which is to bring about a world in which we can all win. I value fairness, humanity, creativity, and above all, community. I’m excited to work with a foundation striving to empower my own community!”
Dr. Olivia Muñoz, Program Manager, Latino Community Foundation
Interviewed by Adriana Saldivar, Program Manager