LOFT Charla: “Confronting Race en Comunidad”

Isla Martinez

Marketing and PR Coordinator

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) hosted the LOFT Charla Series: Confronting Race en Comunidad in Washington, DC this past weekend! Our Charlas are local, self-organized discussions led by community leaders across the country.

This LOFT Charla was unique as we heard from Latino leaders who explored the intersection of race, privilege, and oppression in minorities of Latin communities. Topics that were discussed at the Charla included Latino identity, race in the community, internal racism, how Latinos are viewed in the media, and many more.

Participants reflected on their own personal stories, as one speaker said, “the fight is the same fight wherever you are.”

When asked why it is important to confront issues of race, privilege, and oppression within our community, speaker Dania Matos said, “We have to address our issues within before we can go outward because that is what makes us stronger together.”

Speaker Stephanie Cruz said, “We need to talk and have open dialogues. If we don’t have conversations that move to action, we’ll never be successful at confronting issues involving race.”

 So what is a LOFT Charla? A LOFT Charla is an opportunity to share what you want, however you want.  The Charlas were created to inspire and connect leaders from different backgrounds in a supportive family like environment. You can expect to make deep connections through your shared experiences at our LOFT Charlas. We ask that you come with an open mind, and ready to contribute.

In a series of back to back presentations on everything from technology, entrepreneurship, to wellness, the Charlas amplify the impact of innovators by connecting them to the global LOFT Network.

Our Community Coordinator, Jose Duran, leads the LOFT Charla series, and has seen firsthand the impact the Charlas have on the speakers and participants. Duran said, “A perfect example of this is Maydi Guevara, a senior in high school at The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria. Maydi enlightened all of those in attendance with a presentation on a project which she and her peers have been working on that combines the art of dance with technology, they call it Digital Dance.”

The Charlas are important because as a speaker your voice is heard, and as a participant you can listen, engage, and be a part of the conversation. The Latino community continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S., and the Charlas are a great opportunity to hear about this growth all around the country.

If you would like to attend and participate as a speaker at our next LOFT Charla at the Adobe Offices in downtown San Francisco on February 23, 2017, contact Jose Duran at

Check out our photos from our first LOFT Charla Series: “Confronting Race en Comunidad” in DC and learn more about our LOFT Charlas here!