The Latino Equity Fund has its first-ever leader
Evelyn Barahona will lead the philanthropic fund as its new director moving forward.
Nearly eight years after its launch, the Latino Equity Fund has named Evelyn Barahona as its first-ever director.
In this role, Barahona will work alongside the Latino Equity Fund (LEF) advisory committee to enhance its advocacy work and allow a greater focus on its mission to address the longstanding health and economic inequities the Massachusetts Latino community often faces.
“If you have a large community that’s growing but they’re not really prospering, society ends up losing out,” Barahona said in a statement. “We want to help this underserved group prosper, which really can help the state as well.”
“The Latino community is growing at a very rapid rate, and when you think about it long term, you want to make sure they’re positioned to be economically prosperous, because prosperity for them also means prosperity for Boston and prosperity for Boston means prosperity for Massachusetts,” she added.
Latinos make up about 20% of the population in Massachusetts. Boston has the largest total number of Latinos in the state at just over 130,000 in the city, making up around 16% of all Latinos in the state.
“The Latino Equity Fund will certainly benefit from having a dedicated person focusing on our strategy and stakeholder groups,” said Juan Lopera, co-chair of the Latino Equity Fund, in the announcement. “Evelyn has the track record of being a big-picture thinker who gets things done. Her role as director is a crucial one because it will help us realize the vision for health equity and economic inclusion for our Latino community."
That vision mirrors closely with the vision Barahona has as she takes on her new role.
“I want LEF to be the resource for Massachusetts’ Latino community when they think about issues; we can be the connector and convener for them. Nationally, I want us to become the model and framework for other funds throughout the United States to aspire to create equitable philanthropy for Latinos,” she said.
Barahona begins her new role as the Director of the Latino Equity Fund as it undertakes a $10 million fundraising campaign and ramps up efforts to increase vaccine equity and access for the Latino community in Boston.
LEF has also been working with the state to improve cultural adaptation and underrepresented community engagement. In addition to those areas of focus, Barahona also sees a lack of broadband access and language barriers as other critical factors impacting the most vulnerable within the Latino community in Massachusetts. She hopes to address it all in her role as director.
Barahona currently serves as Board Chair of the Conexion Board of Directors, is a board member of The Latina Circle, founding board member of Amplify Latinx, and is a member of the Board of Ambassadors at Eastern Bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from Northeastern University.
Established in 2013, the Latino Equity Fund is the first Latino-focused fund in the Greater Boston area. It is the result of a partnership between Latino philanthropists and leadership, the Boston Foundation and Hispanics in Philanthropy.