Moving Toward Healing: The Role of Philanthropy in Rewriting Historical Narratives

This content was created in collaboration by Joanna Carrasco, Thiara Falcon and Santiago Carrillo for Hispanics in Philanthropy’s 2021 conference Collective Corazon: The Power is Ours. The session this content was designed for was intended to make the case for philanthropy’s role in rewriting false historical narratives about the communities they serve due to their role in maintaining these narratives in their funding, grant strategies and storytelling. To make the case, we offer examples of what interrogating the history of Latinx people has looked like for us at Living Cities as part of our racial equity competency building,┬áto help ourselves and our audience understand what rewriting accurate narratives rooted in anti-racism of our community might look like.

In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, we offered the history of how the “myth of the monolith” (explained in detail below) has been carefully designed to cement Anti-Blackness into the narrative of who Latinx people are and what their needs are; intentionally erasing Black Latinx people from the narrative of who is part of the Latinx community despite their contributions to the heart of so many Latinx cultures.

Below you’ll explore and learn why we ground in history at Living Cities as a way to understand and educate ourselves on the violence inherent in the false narratives and stories that permeate our society, what we’ve learned about the narrative of Latinx people, how it came to be in America and how that history has impacted the narratives we hear and see about the Latinx community. Finally, we offer a call to action to philanthropy; offering examples of ways philanthropy has upheld the myth of the monolith in their narratives of so-called “Hispanics” and/or Latinx people and how they might be able to address this history of falsehood.


Featured Image: An Invitation by Favianna Rodriguez

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