When Alberto Ibargüen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, came to Hartford last week, he brought words of wisdom and passion about the vital role that journalism plays in informing citizens. He also brought a surprise – generous support from Knight Foundation; Ibargüen announced a $50,000 matching grant to the Latino Endowment Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
“When my wife and I were raising our son here in Greater Hartford during my time in the 1980s,” said the former Hartford Courant executive, “the mere existence of a Latino Endowment Fund would have seemed impossible. It is my hope that this grant will allow the Latino Endowment Fund to enhance its work to serve the Latino community and inspire others to expand their personal philanthropy by becoming donors through this fund.”
More than 300 people came to the Bushnell Performing Arts Center to hear Ibargüen’s keynote address on the state of our democracy, civic engagement and the role of the free press. Ibargüen’s comments focused on the changing journalistic landscape and the continued need for accurate and clear information so that citizens can be active players in our democracy.
“A commitment to democracy is not a choice you make once, but something you make over and over again. And no one is off the hook,” Ibargüen said.
Established in 2003 by Latino leaders in Greater Hartford, the Latino Endowment Fund supports efforts to increase philanthropy in the Latino community and strengthen nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for Latino residents. Every year, Latino Endowment Fund members attend educational programs that examine issues affecting the Latino community and recommend grants from the fund to address those issues. Over the past 15 years the Fund has made grants of nearly $200,000 to Latino serving organizations in support of a broad range of issues including education, workforce development and immigration. Average grants made by the Fund are around $20,000 each year. Anyone can become a member of the Latino Endowment Fund and the minimum contribution required for membership is $365 (a dollar a day) per calendar year.
With the support, Knight Foundation will match contributions dollar for dollar, for any new or renewing memberships, as well as other donations to the fund.
“From its genesis, members of Greater Hartford’s Latino community have worked to create a giving circle that engages the community in philanthropy to respond to the needs in the Latino community in our region,” said Yvette Meléndez, interim president of the Hartford Foundation and a charter member of the Latino Endowment Fund. “This incredibly generous gift so graciously delivered by Alberto Ibargüen in his role as the leader of Knight Foundation will build on the existing legacy of the Latino Endowment Fun and encourage others to be a part of the fund’s growth and lasting impact.”
For more information about the Latino Endowment Fund, contact Wanda Y. Correa at 860-548-1888 or email@example.com or go to www.hfpg.org/latino.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, established in 1925, is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. It is dedicated to putting philanthropy into action to create lasting solutions that result in vibrant communities within the Greater Hartford region. The Foundation’s grantmaking is made possible through generous gifts from individuals, families, and organizations. It has awarded grants of $687 million since its founding. For more information about the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, the uses of digital technology in the delivery of news and information, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers including the Detroit Free Press. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.