The Latino Equity Fund is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a vibrant event ¡Pa’lante! A Decade of Impact on June 21. The festivities, taking place at Bow Market in Somerville, will feature a mix of performances and cuisine reflecting the cultural heritage of the Latino community.

The Latino population is one of the fastest-growing groups in Massachusetts. But Latino Equity Fund Director Javier Juarez told Boston Public Radio that, as the population has grown, sometimes organizations have limited resources to respond to the community’s needs.

“So this is why the [LEF] is really important, to increase philanthropy to those organizations,” he said.

The LEF is the state’s only Latino-led philanthropic community.

“The fund started with 12 community leaders getting together, partnering with the Boston Foundation to establish a philanthropic fund specifically dedicated to the advancement of Latinos in the commonwealth,” Juarez said.

Over the past decade, the fund has grown significantly. The LEF has now distributed around $1.8 million to 73 Latino-led and Latino-serving organizations, Juarez said.

He also addressed the economic challenges faced by the Latino community.

“The Latina worker is actually the lowest-paid worker in the state of Massachusetts and across the country,” he said. “In Massachusetts specifically, they’re earning around $0.42 per their white male counterpart, which is $0.10 underneath the national average.”

As the LEF celebrates its decade of impact, it remains committed to fostering equity and supporting the Latino community in Massachusetts. That includes commissioning research to raise awareness of disparities, as well as aiding organizations focused on education and housing.

¡Pa’lante! A Decade of Impact will be held from 6-11 p.m. Friday, June 21, at Bow Market in Somerville.

Corrected: June 18, 2024
This story has been updated to correct a mistyped quote. Latina workers are the lowest paid in the state.