Edna Salcedo Talboy wants to help other Latinas because their voices often go unheard.
“They can seem invisible, cut off by language and cultural traditions, as well as seemingly simple things like lack of transportation and child care,” said Talboy, an instructional consultant who has chosen to donate to that cause through a newly formed giving circle.
“We need to pay attention. Research shows us that when we improve the life of a woman, that change extends to her family and community,” she said.
The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, along with The Hispanic Development Fund, is creating the Latina Giving Circle to focus on connecting with area women of Hispanic descent.
Those who wish to join donate at least $250. Donors can attend meetings, vote and provide input on how grants are funded.
“It’s a great place for women who want to become involved with philanthropy to start,” said Jackie Loya-Torres, director of grants for the Women’s Foundation. “It’s for Latinas who can to help provide for Latinas who cannot.”
The foundation had conducted previous studies about female populations in the Kansas City metropolitan area. With their steady population climb, Latinas went to the top of the list of groups that could benefit from assistance, Loya-Torres said.
According to the foundation’s study, based partly on Census data, the Latina female population showed the greatest increase among women’s groups here from 2000 to 2010. In Johnson County, the increase was 127 percent. Jackson County saw a 68 percent increase, and the Northland growth was substantial, too.
By 2010, roughly 80,000 Latinas lived in the 11-county Kansas City area, the group said.
Women from focus groups highlighted areas where assistance was most needed: access to transportation for education, health care and other community services; fostering a positive image of Latinas, and breaking language barriers.
Talboy says the barriers and struggles of Latina girls and women are part of their family and personal histories. She believes the new program will counter stereotypes found in the media.
“The Latina Giving Circle crystalizes the image of local Latinas as philanthropists, as a fiscally powerful group able to fund projects that help our sisters and make our community better,” she said.
“By pooling our donations in a thoughtful and systematic fashion, we can target problems that matter most to us and fund solutions.”