Power of Latinos Shaping the Future of North Texas
By Eugenia Vivanco, Director of Community Impact & Funding
Did you know, Latinos make up 40% of the total population in the Dallas /Fortworth (DFW) area of Texas (according to the 2021 U.S. Census)? In other words, one in every four people in the area is Latino. Last week, I had the honor of representing Raza Development Fund at the Power of Latinos DFW Summit, a six power-packed days filled with the latest in-depth analysis of the Latino community and their role in shaping the future of North Texas.
This event was hosted by The Concilio, a Dallas-based nonprofit that strives to build stronger communities by unlocking opportunities for Latino families. We are proud to connect with this organization as a participant in RDF’s Affiliate Support Program sharing guidance, technical assistance and opportunities like the summit. Frank Escobedo, RDF’s Director of Texas Region, and I were pleased to attend this impactful event.
I was humbly honored to sit on a panel for the Creating Equity Seminar, an expert panel that provided an in-depth analysis of the North Texas Latino community across several socioeconomic indicators – and the powerful intersection between Latinos’ wealth, education and health. The panel, moderated by Assistant City Manager Liz Cedillo-Pereira also included two outstanding lifelong leaders of the Latino community in Dallas, Dr. Alejandro Arroliga, chief medical officer at Baylor Scott & White Health and Dr. Kenneth Gonzalez, president of the Mountain View Campus at Dallas College.
During the panel, we shared statistics on how the DFW area can grow and thrive as a result of investing in Latino families across the region. The audience engaged in a conversation around facts on how Latinos are still lagging behind in education, wealth, and health when compared to their non-Latino counterparts however recognizing that investing in our communities with the goal of closing these gaps will only benefit DFW as a whole.
A clear example of this is Dallas’ Hispanic homeownership gap which sits at a 17% (white homeownership rate: 69.4% – Hispanic homeownership rate: 52.3%). In fact, according to a study from the Urban Institute, between 2020 and 2040, no net new homeowners will be white, and 70 percent of new homeowners will be Hispanic. During the Creating Equity Seminar, panelists along with the audience engaged in an exercise where we were challenged to think about what partnerships and collaborations, we could foster to close these gaps.
The Power of Latinos was the first summit of its kind in the DFW area where leaders and experts from the education, health, and wealth industries got together to develop a potential racial equity agenda for Latinos in DFW. By sharing facts and stories, the summit participants were able to think about the root causes of the gaps between Latinos and their non-Latino counterparts and suggest actionable solutions that can drive real life collaborations and partnerships. Together, we can build the capacity of Latino families in DFW.
Texas continues to be a target geographic location for RDF’s investments. Our team has made several investments in the state financing quality opportunities for Latino families including two outstanding New Markets Tax Credit projects in North Texas – Cristo Rey and Trinity Basin Preparatory. The Power of Latinos DFW Summit was a great opportunity for RDF to better understand how we can continue to and better provide access to resources to local partners in the DFW area.