Giving Voice: Advocating for Fairfield County’s Latino Community

May 10, 2023

For Carolyn Gonzalez, advocating for Fairfield County’s Latino community is personal.

“I was born and raised and still live in Bridgeport, which continues to be one of the poorest areas in our region,” said Gonzalez, a member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Too often, people like me grow up with and internalize the stigma of being from a poor community, especially one in a very wealthy county.”

That personal experience is what drives her to serve on the board and has guided her career. As Community Development Officer at Capital for Change, Connecticut’s largest full-service Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Gonzalez works to ensure grassroots nonprofits, small businesses and other under-resourced organizations and communities have access to much-needed capital.

In this role, she’s building on her diverse experience, which includes over 20 years in the community and economic development field having worked for ASPIRA of Connecticut; Bridgeport Economic Development Corporation; State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development; and Community Capital Fund. She was a founding member of Groundwork Bridgeport and a former board member of Bridgeport Neighborhood Fund. She’s proudest of her involvement as a founding member and board member (since 2003) of the Greater Bridgeport Latino Network, where she served as president from 2015 – 2019. GBLN became a resource and voice for the Latino community.

“I got involved with FCCF because I became aware of how impactful a role foundations can have on large scale issues by investing in the innovation that is taking place to address inequity at the very grassroots, community level. We are focused on including the voices and ideas of those who are most affected, and I am excited to support that and help it grow.”

Carolyn Gonzalez,
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation Board Member