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 Mejia
Tell us about yourself. What do you want people to know about you as a Latinx professional in the philanthropic and social sector?
What I want people to know about me is that I have grown personally and professionally through community leaders giving up some time to mentor and guide me. This has taught me that we are never too busy to take time and empower another person.
What calls you to do this work today?
I am called to be involved in this sector because as I tell people I am a product of community organizations. I migrated to the US as a kid under not the best of circumstances and community organizations nurtured me and taught me the value of giving back.
What brings you joy?
What brings me joy is connecting with people. Truly getting to know individuals and their stories. Everyone is unique and I learn something from every person I connect with. To add a cherry on top is when I am able to connect two people together in order for them to help each other accomplish their objectives.
How will you transform Philanthropy?
I will transform philanthropy by making sure that we are inclusive of all people regardless of age, race, sex, orientation, etc. Philanthropy is often thought of as a sector where only wealthy people can give back. However, I know no one is too young to influence and change our community for the better.