Meet Cindy del Rosario-Tapan: A Q&A with Our New Director of Communications.

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October 11, 2020

Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?

A young Cindy with her grandmothers Liwanag del Rosario and Irma Martinez at the Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport

As a first generation Filipinx American, my roots have always been central to my identity. I have seen firsthand the power of my native people and long been inspired by the solutions they know all too well how to implement once they have the resources they need. Thousand Currents’ enduring support of Indigenous communities and commitment to their self-determination was unlike any other professional opportunity I’ve ever come across. Once I learned more about the organization and met the incredible team, I knew I had to be a part of this work. 

Even in the midst of unprecedented global challenges, this job has given me a reason to hope. Whether through the Thousand Currents Academy, our brilliant grassroots partners, or our fiscal support of Black Lives Matter, there is a path at this organization to believing in something better. I’m excited to be a part of this learning journey, and can’t wait to dive deeper into every piece of the work. 

What will be your new role at Thousand Currents?

I am the Director of Communications so will be primarily responsible for advancing Thousand Currents’ vision by creating a multilayered communications strategy through written, spoken, visual, and digital mediums. In addition, I’ll also be taking on the following:

  1. Creating, curating, and promoting bold and beautiful new content to amplify the work and wisdom of our partners. 
  2. Identifying new marketing and relationship opportunities, and promoting our work in diverse media forums. 
  3. Supporting our grassroots partnerships teams to gather stories and weave powerful content and messaging into their work; partnering with our philanthropic teams in targeted advocacy and messaging; collaborating with the learning and innovations team to translate knowledge products into communications content; and backing our Global South partners in strengthening their communications capacity — always keeping our values centered along the way.   

What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?

Cindy at the Kwame Nkrumah mausoleum in Accra, where a Ghanian prisoner-turned-president remains

I bring 20 years of professional communications expertise to Thousand Currents, having begun my career as a storyteller for lifestyle brands like In Style, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Martha Stewart Living. I began to realize I could transfer those skills to content that matched my passions when I did digital stints at National Geographic, Parenting, and start-ups dedicated to eco-conscious choices as well as hyperlocal race and ethnicity-based news. Following 7 years at Columbia University, I entered the non-profit sector full-time in 2019 and committed completely to the causes that matter most to me. 

Beyond my professional path, I’m also a proud mother of three beautiful children. Their future is at the forefront of all my decisions, and I feel compelled to do everything I can to honor our Filipinx heritage and trust those whose voices matter most. That purpose is something I hope to share with my new family at Thousand Currents. 

What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?

Cindy visiting Corregidor, an island in Manila Bay that played an important role during the invasion and liberation of the Philippines from Japanese forces

Because of my background, I want nothing more than a more just and equitable society, particularly for communities whose populations are often unseen and unheard. My parents’ immigrant journey to the U.S. showed me how determination and resilience can enable greater possibilities. But no one can walk alone, and those of us in a position of privilege can often do more to move forward together. We must practice and live the values of courage, humility, creative collaboration, experimentation, and interdependence every day. In doing so, I envision a future where our work as intermediaries transforms into authentic power for the brave and beautiful women, youth, and Indigenous People in the Global South. 

What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?

I co-parent my three kids and one dog with my partner of 25 years and that always keeps me on my toes. When I come up for air, I love to curl up with a good book — and anything goes: fiction, thrillers, biographies, essays, cultural commentary, or just about anything that teaches me something new. Mentoring others is really important to me, and I consult on a few diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice projects. I like to run, I love to practice yoga, and there is nothing that brings me greater joy than a few hours of karaoke.