The LatinXCEL Fund seeks to increase investments in Silicon Valley’s Latinx leaders and organizations
Silicon Valley Community Foundation in collaboration with Castellano Family Foundation today announces the launch of the LatinXCEL Fund, a $10 million initiative created to support Latinx leaders and organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Through targeted investments, the fund will strengthen Silicon Valley’s ecosystem of Latinx-led organizations, ensuring that they have the long-term resources they need to unleash the full potential of the communities they serve.
“To advance equity in our region, we need to invest in organizations led by people of color who are building power and self-determination within their communities,” said Nicole Taylor, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “The LatinXCEL Fund will bolster the capacity of local Latinx-led organizations that are building pathways to ensure that all Latinx community members in Silicon Valley can thrive.”
Latinx communities make up nearly 20% of the U.S. population and are the fastest growing demographic group in California, yet they experience widening disparities in income, education, health and housing compared to their white and Asian counterparts. In Silicon Valley, while many tech workers thrived during the pandemic, Latinx communities shouldered 56% of the state’s total COVID cases and 47% of the state’s total COVID deaths.
This equity gap is exacerbated by a dearth of philanthropic support for Latinx communities; only one percent of private foundation giving in the U.S. directly supports Latinx organizations,according to a report from Hispanics in Philanthropy. In 2020, the groundbreaking “Blueprint for Change” report released by the Castellano Family Foundation documented the experiences and perspectives of more than 65 local Latinx-led and Latinx-serving community-based organizations. The report ultimately called on Silicon Valley philanthropy to increase their investments in Latinx-serving organizations.
“Silicon Valley is a region known for its great innovation, world-class technology and – as this past year has again reminded us – crushing disparities,” said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president of Castellano Family Foundation. “The pandemic ravaged communities of color, especially Latinx communities, who faced unbeatable odds as essential workers, devastating losses as small businesses, and whose children were disproportionately impacted by the digital divide. Philanthropy has an opportunity to help correct systemic imbalances and get our communities on a better track.”
To date, the LatinXCEL Fund has raised more than $1 million from local philanthropic institutions and individual donors, including Applied Materials Foundation, Castellano Family Foundation, Chavez Family Foundation, David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Sunlight Giving.
The fund will support organizations located in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that are:
- Led by Latinx individuals or their allies and whose overall leadership reflects the Latinx community they serve, or
- Established community anchor organizations that have maintained a historical presence in Latinx communities, serving as trusted entities and playing major roles in advancing equity and social justice through community- and/or advocacy and movement-building, or
- Emerging organizations rooted in the Latinx community with locally focused missions and/or racial equity agendas
The LatinXCEL Fund’s first grantmaking round will open in Summer 2021. To learn more, visit www.siliconvalleycf.org/latinxcel-fund
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a regional catalyst, connector and collaborator. We bring the resources and skills of donors, business, government and community to solve some of our region’s toughest challenges. We promote philanthropy in our region and support philanthropists to invest with impact. Through advocacy, research, policy and grantmaking, we seek systemic solutions to drive enduring community change. Learn more at siliconvalleycf.org.
About Castellano Family Foundation
Established in 2002 by Carmen and Alcario Castellano, the foundation has invested more than $7.5 million to support Latinx arts and culture, education, and leadership development programs in Silicon Valley. Their newfound wealth gave them a unique platform to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. On the 15th anniversary of the foundation, the Board embarked on a new strategic direction to leverage their family values and influence to bring about greater visibility and increased investments in Latinx leaders, organizations, and communities. Learn more at www.castellano-ff.org/blueprint