Meet Sandra Silva: A Q&A with our New Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
Why did you want to work for Thousand Currents? What made you apply to the organization?
Having been involved in social justice work for more than 15 years, I am aware and sympathetic of the criticisms grassroots movements have regarding funders. I believe that if philanthropic organizations want to fund emancipatory grassroots work, they need to verify and challenge themselves for the whole funding process and relationship with the movements to also be as emancipatory as possible. I wanted to apply to Thousand Currents because I really cherish its thoughtful procedures and respectful approach towards their movement partners. Unrestricted grant-making and the respect for the self-determination of the movements are core values for Thousand Currents, meaning it is more in the position of a learner than that of a ruler – which I deeply appreciate. Also, I was already familiar to many Thousand Currents’ partners and knew I would be glad to be part of an organization that supports the kind of work they do.
What will be your new role at Thousand Currents?
As Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, my main role is to lead the development and implementation of Thousand Currents strategy to the region. I will be in regular dialogue with our movement partners and I will nurture our relationship with them, while I oversee Thousand Currents’ grant-making work with them. I will also engage with other funders in the region and will research partnership opportunities for Thousand Currents, as well as for our partners. I am really excited about everything I will learn from this position!
What gifts do you hope to share in your new role?
The most important thing I bring is a strong commitment to social justice and grassroots movements. I have always directed my professional career in a way that I can apply my work force to support grassroots analysis and solutions to global problems. I also bring strategic and critical thinking, analytical skills and cross-cultural relationship-building skills – all combined with a consistent understanding of the region. I also have a lot of drive, energy and enthusiasm to share with Thousand Currents and our partners.
What is your vision or hope for the communities you work with and the work you’re doing?
I envision a world in which there is no fear of sharing power. A world in which there is enough room for equity to develop from popular sovereignty and everyone is so aware of world history and of the injustices that have been produced in different forms that the idea of reparations is not scary for anyone. A world in which the solutions implemented will emanate, first and foremost, from the people. That is what I am looking at when I employ my labor force and I hope my work in this new role is one more step in my tiny contribution to get us there.
What do you do when you are not working at Thousand Currents?
When I am not working, I really enjoy traveling to explore new places, especially in nature – anywhere with abundant green and water is heaven to me. I also love spending time with my inspiring family and friends – be it for a joyful gathering or to do nothing together. A whole Sunday by myself reading in a hammock is perfection to me but one may also find me partying and dancing in a “roda de samba“.