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The Central Valley News Collaborative is a project of The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, KVPR and Radio Bilingüe.

Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro to lead California philanthropy group aimed at Latinos

Latino Community Foundation

FRESNO, Calif. – The Latino Community Foundation – the largest Latino-serving philanthropic organization – has named the former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro as its next Chief Executive Officer starting in 2024.

Castro was formerly the mayor of his hometown San Antonio, Texas, in 2009, and also ran for president in 2020. He made stops in Fresno during his campaign. Castro also served as the youngest member of former President Barack Obama’s Cabinet from 2014-2017.

“It’s a unique organization and it’s grown tremendously over these last several years,” Castro told the LA Times about the foundation. “What intrigues me is, how can the LCF keep doing great work in California, and then expand beyond California?”

The foundation was founded in 1989 with a goal to increase donations to Latino organizations in California. Since its launch, the foundation has invested nearly $30 million to hundreds of Latino-led nonprofits and grassroot organizations.

According to Hispanics in Philanthropy, an average of 1.3% of foundation giving goes to Latino-led organizations despite the demographic’s growth in the U.S.

This year, the foundation – through its Latino Giving Circle Network – raised more than $348,000 to invest in 38 Latino-led organizations across the state.

The philanthropy efforts are aimed at increasing and mobilizing Latino youth leadership, supporting entrepreneurs and increasing access to healthcare, according to its website. Latinos represent the largest ethnic group in the state.

Some of the foundation’s investments have been made in the Central Valley.

In Fresno, the Integral Community Solutions Institute and the Central Valley Scholars organizations both received grants.

Other nonprofits in the region include: Pequeños Empresarios in Madera, Invest in Me and the United Community Foundation in Stanislaus County, and Clinica Tepati in Sacramento.

This story is part of the Central Valley News Collaborative, which is supported by the Central Valley Community Foundation with technology and training support by Microsoft Corp.

Esther Quintanilla reports on diverse communities for KVPR through the Central Valley News Collaborative, which includes The Fresno Bee, Vida en el Valle, KVPR and Radio Bilingüe.