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“Our goal is to lift the trajectory for Latinx families.” Centro Hispano announces $2M gift from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving

Centro Hispano's staff celebrates a $2 million gift from Yield Giving, a foundation established by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. (Photo by David Dahmer)

Centro Hispano of Dane County hosted a press conference on Tuesday announcing a $2 million gift from MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving. The gift ensures the completion of Campaign Centro, the campaign to build a new two-story, 25,000-square-foot home at the corner of Hughes Place and Cypress Way in South Madison. The grand opening for the new building will take place on April 26.

“As you know, we’ve been embarking on this journey for a new building, a new home at Centro,” Dr. Karen Menéndez Coller told the crowd gathered at the press conference in the lobby of Centro on Madison’s South Side. “And, today, Mackenzie Scott’s Yield Giving announced that Centro Hispano of Dane County is one of the Yield Giving Open Call awardees working with people and in places experiencing the greatest need in the United States. Centro, as a result of this award, will receive $2 million.”

The announcement came as a big surprise to most of the Centro staff and Centro supporters at the event. “I didn’t tell too many people because I was keeping it under wraps for a really long time,” Menéndez Coller laughed.

Dr. Karen Menéndez Coller
(Photo by David Dahmer)

Centro Hispano, which was founded in 1983, has a mission to empower youth, strengthen families, and engage the community. Centro’s initiatives provide assistance to immigrants, foster youth leadership development, and innovative career training programs that focus on upskilling with a holistic approach to retention and advancement.

“This organization promotes equity in life, education, and work to reduce the impact of systemic racism and significant barriers faced by Latinx in the US,” Menéndez Coller said. “At its core, Centro embraces equity and social justice to achieve a mission of a thriving and vibrant Latinx community.”

Yield Giving, a foundation established by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, launched an open call in March 2023 for community-led, community-focused organizations whose explicit purpose is “to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.” On Tuesday, Scott announced she was giving $640 million to 361 small nonprofits that responded to the open call for applications.

Centro Hispano’s brand-new building is located at 2430 Cypress Way in South Madison.
(Photo by David Dahmer)

“I am incredibly proud of Centro’s impact in this community. Our goal is to lift the trajectory for Latinx families,” Menendez Coller said. “We do not take this work lightly because this work is personal. This gift will ensure the completion of Campaign Centro, allowing us to reach our goal of raising $20 million for a strong, safe, and sustainable home for the Latinx community.

Centro Hispano board president Felipe Noboa
(Photo by David Dahmer)

“Thanks to Yield Giving and Lever for Change for reminding Centro staff and board of the unquestionable, exceptional work they do day-in-and-day-out to benefit the families and children we see every day who are so deserving of spaces that understand and truly support them,” she added.

A celebration is planned for the new Centro building on Friday, April 26.

“As an immigrant, I always look for a place that feels like home and Centro felt like that from day one,” Centro board president Felipe Noboa told the crowd at the press conference. “So we’re so excited to build a new space that can be that home. This just helps us get to our goal and also helps us create a sustainable future for Centro. I couldn’t be more excited for the future.”