2019 #HIPLíderes Spotlight: Robert Sepeda

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 Robert Sepeda

Tell us about yourself. What do you want people to know about you as a Latinx professional in the philanthropic and social sector?
My entire career has been devoted to helping Texas families, with hundreds as part of Head Start, tens of thousands look for school options, and now over a hundred thousand who were affected by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
What calls you to do this work today?
The same thing that has always called me – the desire to give back to the areas similar to where I came from (low-income communities of color) and institutions and programs that have brought me up in order to do so (foundations, universities, fellowships, etc).
What brings you joy? 
People who bring all people up, co-workers, families, community members, etc. Seeing leaders who evoke a shared sense of responsibility to take care of each other and to advance together not only makes me happy but brings hope to the challenges we face as a society and world.
How will you transform Philanthropy? 
By striving to listen with my heart and my mind, and by acting in the interests of all stakeholders, those in the room as well as those outside of the room.
What is your leadership mantra? 
Get to know some of the other Líderes here.