Welcome to Dreaming in Color, a show hosted by Darren Isom, a partner with The Bridgespan Group, that provides a space for social change leaders of color to reflect on how their life experiences, personal and professional, have prepared them to lead and drive the impact we all seek.
In this episode, we sit down with Javier Torres, an anti-racist philanthropic leader committed to liberated and self-determined futures for all people. His work centers on caring for people and community while investing in imagination, narrative change and power building. Most recently, Javier served as the Director of Thriving Cultures at Surdna and is a founding design team member of both the BIPOC Storytelling Fund and the Constellations Narrative and Culture Fund. He also serves as a funding and evaluation partner for the Mosaic Fund and Network at the New York Community Trusts.
Join us as Javier shares how his family legacy and lived experiences have shaped his unique approach to philanthropic work, his dreams for the future of arts funding, and how a young coworker inspired him to change his leadership style.
Jump Straight Into
(0:28) Introduction of Javier Torres, an anti-racist philanthropic leader whose work focuses on investing in liberated and self-determined futures for all people.
(1:22) Javier shares inspiring words from Bell Hooks, Adrian Maree Brown and Octavia Butler.
(4:52) Javier discusses the legacy of his family’s commitment to activism and how the generations before him have prepared him to lead today.
(13:07) Javier guides us through his experience as a misfit in philanthropy and how he harnessed his differences to mold his approach to the work.
(19:48) Art and culture and how those entities act as catalysts for shifting the narrative.
(24:37) Javier hones in on the drawbacks of philanthropy and discusses his commitment to bringing funding to diverse stories.
(29:14) Dreaming of building a love economy - Javier shares his hopes and dreams for the future.
(34:55) Slowing down in a society obsessed with productivity and how modeling rest as a leader can serve as a radical act.