If We Want to Win: A Latine Vision for a New American Democracy

New Pr. Oct. 2021. 288p. ed. by Diana Campoamor. ISBN 9781620976807. $26.99. SOC SCI
Campoamor (Latinx Rising) is the founder of the Nuestra América Fund, “an initiative focused on documenting Latino leadership and best practices in philanthropy”; this new edited volume shares that focus. It includes 20 essays written by Latine civic and nonprofit leaders, primarily executives of foundations with a history of awarding funds to Latine causes in the United States. Topics span the spectrum from community organizing and higher education to racial identity and democratic participation. Six of the essays profile Latine humanitarians—again, mostly foundation executives. Inspiring personal stories of overcoming barriers and navigating U.S. society reflect Campoamor’s stated goal of “including the Latine presence in our shared American story.” However, anecdotes of Latine public figures who climbed “from the barrio to the boardroom” do not entirely sustain the somewhat unfocused narrative and occasionally jarring tonal shifts, as when a survey of gender inequality in Latin America veers into praise of U.S. charitable investments. The book’s target audience appears to be NGO employees and consultants and contributors to philanthropic and community organizations that tackle issues affecting Latine communities.
VERDICT This edited volume offers a potent vision of Latine successes, opportunities, and futures, though the narrative never quite coheres as it should.
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