In honor of International Women’s Day we had a deep discussion with board leader, education professional and TNP advocate Laura Razo. Laura has an amazing story as a philanthropist and activist, and shares her advice on how leaders can also make a difference in revolutionary ways! Enjoy this read on an amazing community leader.
Tell us about your community involvement and the milestones you are most proud of?
With 23 years as an education professional in my back pocket, I most recently accepted a position as a Job Placement Manager for Transfr. My current role as a Job Placement Manager is a continuation of my belief in the transformative power of education; in this case, work based learning.
I began my philanthropy journey in Houston, my hometown, and served as part of the Nuestra Palabra Educator Outreach team for the Edward James Olmos Latino Book and Family Festival. This led me to be a founding member of the Librotraficante Caravan, which focuses on social justice through literacy, intellectual freedom, and performance protest. I also am a 20 year volunteer for the National Hispanic Institute and current board trustee. In Austin I serve on the board of The Training Kitchen, Austin Bat Cave, YWCA-Austin, and newly created MAS Cultura.
In the past, I’ve been a Puente Mentor and am a Communities in Schools-Baytown past President. My philanthropy and community service has given me humble moments of recognition as a 2013 MANA Outstanding Houston Area Educator, 2009 Baytown Sun Unsung Hero, 2008 National Hispanic Alumni of the Year, and 2000 Educator of the Year-Nuestra Palabra.
It’s difficult for me to point out one thing I’m proudest of – I am a work in progress!!
What does Philanthropy mean to you?
In my mind, Philanthropy means donating your time, expertise, and/or money; therefore the goals of The New Philanthropists to foster more inclusive nonprofit board membership with the goal of increasing positives outcomes for those they serve is not only genius, it’s righteousness and necessary.
What’s next for you in your Philanthropy journey?
Nuestra Palabra is turning 25 next year and the Librotraficante Caravan is “celebrating” our 10 year anniversary. With book bans, attacks on academia and ethnic studies- we are planning two years worth of activities. So stay tuned!
What advice do you have for leaders and new philanthropists?
My advice is to invest your time and energy into the community in which you live in. Be that alternative and intentional voice on local boards and commissions. If not you, who? We can’t wait for others to step up, now is always the right time for personal growth and service to others.
Thank you Laura for sharing with us a snippet of the impact you’ve had in communities throughout Texas and beyond, and your dedication to social justice through literacy. We invite you to learn more about Librotraficante, Nuestra Palabra and connect with Laura Razo.