Unique Area Foundation training program emphasizes diversity & social justice

Following in the footsteps of last year’s successful inaugural class, the San Antonio Area Foundation announced the launch of the 2022 class of its newest professional development program.

The second-ever San Antonio Equity Fellowship Program got off the ground earlier this month. This one-of-a-kind opportunity is specifically geared for local nonprofit leaders of color to gain personal growth and advance their careers.

“This is a transformational program focused on bringing together African American, Latinx and American Indian community leaders who are committed to constructively altering societal conditions and creating equitable opportunities for all,” said Patricia Mejia, Vice President of Community Engagement and Impact at the Area Foundation.

The six-month training curriculum, which runs through April 2023, involves monthly sessions focused on transformational leadership, intercultural understanding, social change, policy action, community improvement and arts expression.

The main criteria for applicants includes being a senior or executive leader or member of the board of directors of a local nonprofit organization, commitment to participate in all in-person sessions, support from participants’ respective organizations and self-identification as Black, Latinx, American Indian or multi-racial.

The program is modeled after a similar course created by the Multicultural Leadership Academy of the Latino Policy Forum in Chicago.

“The San Antonio Equity Fellowship is designed to create a cadre of passionate, transformational leaders committed to equity, social justice and cross-cultural collaboration that will benefit all citizens of San Antonio,” said Carol Rodriguez, a consultant who will help facilitate the Area Foundation program. 

“Based on the successes realized in Chicago from collaboration between graduates of the program in that city, we anticipate fruitful projects positively impacting policy and programs in San Antonio,” Rodriguez added.

Congratulations to the 2022 San Antonio Equity Fellowship Program participants! They are:

  • Noah Almanza, Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, Inc.
  • Allen Blair, SAMMinistries.
  • Viridiana CarrizalesImmSchools.
  • Claudia de VascoThe Public Theater.
  • Dominic DominguezGardopia Gardens.
  • Maruice GibbsSan Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum.
  • Destiny HernandezAmerican Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions.
  • Tiffany Jones-SmithState of Texas Kidney Foundation.
  • Natalynn MastersBlack Outside, Inc.
  • Adriana McKinnonYouth Center of Texas.
  • Robert MelvinSan Antonio for Growth on the East Side.
  • Grady MorrisCovenant Christian Children’s Homes of Texas.
  • Stacie OrsaghEsther Vexler Yoga School.
  • Cuauthli ReynaSan Anto Cultural Arts.
  • Simon SalasGood Samaritan Community Services.
  • Maria C. TurvinYanawana Herbolarios.
  • Shay WilsonEach One Teach One.