This interview was originally featured in Tech For Equity Updates — a biweekly newsletter about Change Machine’s platform, including upcoming trainings, and insights from our community of practice. Subscribe today!
We’re excited to feature our first practitioner spotlight of 2022, Susy Contreras from the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), who spoke on how MAOF embeds equity into its services and how Change Machine’s platform aids its work. MAOF is one of the country’s largest Latino-oriented family services organizations in the Los Angeles area. As the Community Development Director, Susy is responsible for program design and grants management, stakeholder relations, and analysis of legal, policy, and regulatory issues.
How is MAOF advancing equity in its work and its organization?
We get engaged on issues that affect our families, such as when bills are being proposed on naturalization or DACA policies are being debated. We’ve provided client testimonials sharing the importance of why these programs work and why they should be expanded.
MAOF’s staff members reflect the community we serve. Our board and administration are very diverse. We always try to promote from within because we understand that the individuals that serve the community understand the community and the work that needs to be done.
That’s also how I became a director: I had already been with MAOF for about five years. I already understood the work that community development was doing. So we try to identify individuals within the organization that have been dedicated and have the potential to take on leadership roles.
Which part of our platform do you find most helpful?
I really like LEARN. It’s great that Change Machine has that specific component for coaches to continue to develop their skills. I know there’s only so much information we can provide or I can share, so having that as a resource is helpful. Especially when we onboard new staff, it’s a module that’s already in place to connect our new staff with training.
Having the ability to customize our intake on Change Machine’s platform to what our needs are has also been very beneficial because then we’re not collecting unnecessary information and are saving time. These are added benefits.