2019 #HIPLíderes Spotlight: Juan Galeano

All month long, as part our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, we’ll be highlighting and honoring some of our 2019 Líderes. HIP’s Líderes Fellowship cultivates mid-career Latinos working in philanthropy and nonprofits by gaining knowledge, learning new practices, and building relationships within a network that supports their ability to advance and thrive. This year’s HIP Lideres represent 19 grantmaking institutions and 12 nonprofits from across the United States. Lideres were chosen on the basis of demonstrating a commitment to working for racial equity to achieve social justice.  The Fellows represent diverse Líderes—including indigenous, Afro, women, and LGBTQI Latinos—who have the courage to work in the complexity of the intersections in which we all live, including race, class, education, gender identity, ability, etc.

Meet Juan Galeano 

Tell us about yourself. What do you want people to know about you as a Latinx professional in the philanthropic and social sector?
I have a track record of building authentic relationships, creating systemic change in county and state government, and I care deeply about building the capacity of nonprofit organizations. There is not enough Latinx representation in leadership roles and positions of power within philanthropy. I believe we must intentionally build the pipeline of talent so the Latinx perspectives and lived experience are not continually ignored and underfunded, and I am committed to being part of that process.
What calls you to do this work today? 
Three of the most formative experiences that call me to do this work are:
  1. The hardships my parents faced as immigrants and the great challenges of those coming into the U.S. today.
  2. Graduating college at the beginning of the great recession and the economic insecurity it created for me, my friends, and my family.
  3. The stories I heard as a community organizer in Polk County, FL. Some of the stories were of people overcoming all odds which filled me with hope, while others were of people doing everything right and still experiencing injustices.
What brings you joy? 
Spending quality time with friends and family. Accomplishing long-time goals and checking things off my to-do list.
How will you transform Philanthropy? 
By raising questions about why and how we do this work. I believe strong communities need strong backbone organizations to build leadership capacity and advocate for their needs/wants. I will continue to examine how marginalized groups get commonly overlooked and find ways to intentionally support them.
What is your leadership mantra? 
Get to know some of the other Líderes here.