Roadmap to Latino Prosperity
Imagining and Creating a Prosperous Future for the Nation
Author: Mara Perez, Ph.D., Founder & Principal, Latino Futures – A Think Tank Project firstname.lastname@example.org
The racial and ethnic composition of the United States is changing. All projections point to a time in the not-so-distant future when thirty percent of all U.S. inhabitants will be Latino; this reality will come to fruition between 2050 and 2060. Between now and then, what has been the majority population, Whites, will be experiencing an aging trend. The numbers of births will be less than the numbers of deaths for Whites, and the population will decline. By 2045 or sooner this nation will no longer have a majority group and will become majority-minority. It is precisely within and because of this demographic context that the Roadmap to Latino Prosperity emerged. The purpose of the Roadmap is to provide a clear view of what’s to come, and where Latinos fit within this changing environment – demographically, socially, and financially.
The Roadmap to Latino Prosperity is framed around four fundamental pillars: Education, entrepreneurship, workforce development, and Latino philanthropy. Specific priorities set forth in the Roadmap for each pillar center on three vectors (pathways or levers to achieve Latino prosperity): Policy, institutions, and funding.
(1) Policies in the public and private sectors can help move the needle forward in each of the four pillars by creating conditions conducive to meaningful change, and helping remove barriers to access and opportunity.
(2) The actions of large and small institutions to bring about change, starting with themselves, may help them better reflect the local, regional and national population by expanding diversity. Further, institutions may set forth plans that stimulate cross-collaborations to augment capacity to address Latino issues, and thus scale positive outcomes.
(3) Funding is instrumental in enabling non-profit organizations and others to advance their efforts, scale their work and produce greater and faster positive change through programs and services. Additionally, more funding will allow non-profit organizations to seek, pursue, and establish coalitions/partnerships with other like-minded-organizations to tackle a range of issues that combined can help accelerate the expansion of Latino socio-economic prosperity. To date, funding scarcity severely impedes Latino-led/Latino-serving non-profits to have the reach they need to be able to meet community needs.
Years of data analysis show that Latinos in the U.S. still lag behind in college/university graduation rates, most remain poor and work in low-paying jobs, and those who are business owners lack sufficient funding to scale their businesses. Current trends also show that there is a growing movement among Latinos to formalize their philanthropic giving by joining Giving Circles and being integrally involved in the grant-giving process through these Circles. Albeit small, this Latino philanthropy movement is gaining significant momentum and it is very promising. Thus, Latino philanthropy is one of the four cornerstone pillars of the Roadmap to Latino Prosperity.
The Roadmap to Latino Prosperity provides data points pertaining to each pillar, and describes related trends and opportunities. The Roadmap is comprised of “Prosperity Circles” in graphs form. Each Prosperity Circle identifies specific priorities, and each of these priorities has assigned actions. The actions are presented as initial steps that can help put the wheels in motion to achieve progress on all pillars. The Roadmap to Latino Prosperity is a “30,000-foot view,” of key priorities and actions designed to spark action, dialogue, and exploration to generate change and accelerate Latino socio-economic prosperity.
The goal of the Roadmap to is serve as a catalyst for change. The Roadmap seeks to inspire organizations such as non-profits; philanthropic foundations; businesses; and government; among others, to take a deep look at their practices and goals and consider the future of the U.S. if Latinos remain poor, as opposed to how the country could advance, in years to come, when Latinos represent thirty percent of the population, and have reached their fullest potential.
The Roadmap to Latino Prosperity argues that Latino socio-economic prosperity is a matter of national economic security. The following pages show us why national security fits squarely within the realm of Latino advancement. Lastly, the Roadmap illustrates how we can participate in imagining and creating a prosperous future for the nation by investing in the Latino community.