November 17, 2016


Today, more than ever, our work to build stronger Latino communities is needed. Over the past three decades, the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) has provided grants, scholarships, and leadership in the community that have reflected the priorities established with direct input from our community.

HDF remains committed to being responsive to the needs that will surface from our community over the course of the next several years. The outcome of this election does not change our mission or the resiliency of our people. It only confirms how critically important our collective work is and the urgency by which we must act.

We will continue to support and strengthen our local nonprofits who work directly with our families. We are committed to provide resources that will address the critical priorities of our community.  HDF will delay announcement of our grantmaking process in 2017 until we have had an opportunity to evaluate where our grants will best be deployed to support emerging issues in the face of a new administration in Washington, D.C.

Not only will we marshal our resources to address critical needs, we will also seek to find partners to support the work of our nonprofits, together ensuring that our Latino community continues to prosper.

To that end, HDF convened a group of more than 80 nonprofit leaders and community members on Monday evening, November 21, 2016, to discuss how the new administration’s policies could impact immigrant and refugee families. This group, the Kansas City Immigrant Rights Coalition, is committed to standing with our immigrant communities to offer support and strength.

We will continue to convey gatherings of the Collation and concerned community members as is necessary to support our community and collectively face the challenges put before us. You will hear from us over the course of the next several months about upcoming community forums for parents, families, nonprofits, and philanthropy on how we can best support our community.

We will stand together, we will support one another, and together, we will persevere.

Con Fe,

Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund



Announces Change In Leadership

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund hosted an event last week with Kansas City-area funders and nonprofit organizations serving local immigrant populations.  Representatives from more than 25 foundations and nonprofit organizations convened to better understand how to address the needs of immigrants and refugees in the region.

During the event on October 20, Randy Capps, Senior Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., presented newly compiled statistics about the Kansas City metro’s 135,000 immigrants. The full report, presentation and summary infographic are available at www.hdfkc.org/grantmaking.

“Seventy percent of the Kansas City metro’s immigrants are lawfully present in the United States, and more than half have been in the country since 2000, and own their own homes. The report’s findings reveal that immigrants are contributing to the region’s economy as long-term residents, employees, homeowners and parents of U.S.-citizen children,” Capps said.

The event was part of the Hispanic Development Fund’s latest initiative to support Kansas City’s immigrant population in applying for citizenship and administrative relief through grants to local nonprofit organizations.

At this event it was also announced that Jacqueline Saavedra will succeed Mayra Aguirre as Executive Director of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund.

“The Board is extremely grateful for Mayra’s nine years of service to the Hispanic Development Fund. She has made an incredible impact on the work of HDF and its efforts to improve the quality of life for Latino families in Kansas City,” said Ramón Murguía, chair of the Hispanic Development Fund Board of Directors. “Jackie is well positioned and prepared to carry on the important work of the Hispanic Development Fund and will be a tireless advocate for the population we serve.”

Saavedra, a Kansas City native, joined the Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) as a consultant earlier this year. Saavedra received her bachelor's degree from Rockhurst University and her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Since 2010, she has worked on immigrant rights issues with the KS/MO Dream Alliance, both locally and nationally. Her work includes campaigns for the passage of the DREAM Act, the defense of in-state tuition in Kansas, and the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“I am honored that the Hispanic Development Fund’s Board has placed their trust in me, and I am committed to HDF’s continued success,” Saavedra said. “I received scholarships from HDF as an undergraduate student, so I have seen HDF’s history of investing in young Latinos firsthand. It is now my turn to give back to our Latino community and make Kansas City an even greater place for all residents.”

“It has been a true privilege to be a voice for the Hispanic community for the past nine years through HDF,” Mayra Aguirre, outgoing Executive Director said. “I have full confidence that the team we have in place now, Jackie Saavedra and program associate, Jessica Jasso, will carry on HDF’s vital work: empowering Hispanic youth to achieve their post-secondary goals, creating high-quality early childhood education access for Hispanic children, and assisting Kansas City’s immigrant population on their path towards citizenship. I will continue to support HDF’s work as a member of the HDF Board of Directors, and, as always, will remain a strong advocate for Kansas City’s Hispanic community.”

The leadership transition will be effective on December 1, 2016.

Jacqueline Saavedra 
Hispanic Development Fund Consultant