22 Oct HCF Announces New Program Manager & Health Equity FellowShare This Article
We are in a critical moment to address our service region’s long-term health and wellness needs as communities will feel the impact of the COVID pandemic for years to come. We are growing our team to execute our bold vision towards an equitable recovery in our region and are happy to introduce our two newest team members—Julián Lazalde and Randy Kim!
Strengthening Our Focus on Policy and Advocacy Work
The pandemic made evident how structural and social determinants of health (e.g., whether public transportation is available, which communities accept housing vouchers, etc.) play a central role in the overall health of people, families, and communities. At the root of these structural inequities is the long-standing and compounding unequal distribution of power. Systems-level health policies and civic engagement can serve as a potent antidote to these inequities.
As a foundation, we believe that our community-centered and trust-based approach uniquely positioned us to support, strengthen and amplify the power-building efforts of communities and organizations in our service region. Philanthropy can support strategies to address systemic issues by building community power and civic engagement. As part of our bold strategy, we remain committed to responding to immediate community needs while also working with our partners on long-term systemic solutions.
Julián Lazalde (he/him/his), Program Manager of Policy & Advocacy, will focus on health equity policy activities to develop an informed health equity agenda aligned with our mission and values. He will also work to leverage the efforts of community, which are often underfunded and underserved, towards increasing civic engagement in our region.
“I’m deeply grateful for this opportunity to engage with grantee partners and community leaders in the HCF region,” said Julián. “Being new to philanthropy, I am especially excited to learn from my colleagues about how to further HCF’s deep commitment to community-informed, trust-based grantmaking in the region.”
Prior to joining the Healthy Communities Foundation team, Julián was the Civic Engagement & Policy Analyst with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) where he led NIJC’s local and state-level policy and legislative advocacy initiatives in conjunction with dozens of local, state, and national partners. Julián earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration from DePaul University and a Bachelor’s in History from Williams College.
Strengthening the Pipeline of BILPOC Representation in Philanthropy
As part of our commitment to racial and ethnic equity, we see our role as more than just a grant-maker. We strive to use our institutional power to advance racial equity and justice efforts in the field of philanthropy, allowing for a more inclusive voice to guide investments.
Therefore, we are excited to launch our Health Equity Fellowship as it is key to our work and creates opportunities for BILPOC professionals interested in philanthropy to enter and impact the sector. The Fellowship is also a demonstration of our core value of energizing the spirit and potential of our local communities.
Randy Kim (he/him/his), Health Equity Fellow, will support the Program Team for the next three years on informing and implementing capacity, narrative-building, and storytelling programmatic strategies for Healthy Communities Foundation. He will work closely with both the Program and Communications teams.
“I’m eager to foster deeper connections with our grantee partners and community members who are paving new paths together to create a sustainable, equitable, and thriving future for their communities,” said Randy. “As a Health Equity Fellow, I look forward to supporting our communities to tell their stories and make it a part of their own history-making.”
Before joining our team, Randy worked at nonprofits that focus on eldercare, Asian American advocacy, and immigration rights, including the Council for Jewish Elderly Senior Life and the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center. He is currently a board member with the National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial. Randy holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently working towards his Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at DePaul University.
“We are thrilled to have Julián and Randy join the Healthy Communities Foundation team at a moment when our work as a foundation expands to meet the health needs of our grantee partners and region,” said Maria Pesqueira, President of Healthy Communities Foundation. “Their professional and lived experience are valuable components to achieving our mission and vision for a more just and equitable recovery for our region’s residents.”