Keynote Speaker

Anita I. Martínez

Anita Ines Martínez, former Community Impact Director of Financial Stability and Wealth Building at United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM), was announced as Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MIHC) Executive Director.

At United Way, Anita oversaw program development and innovation for a portfolio of agencies in the Economic Prosperity focus area, developing deep networks throughout metro Detroit around workforce and economic development. Clients received holistic and extensive wrap around coaching to ensure the most comprehensive path forward towards achieving economic mobility.

At MIHC, Anita will establish and leverage a strong network of partnerships to put in place models that latest evidence and research indicates improve Hispanic academic and employment success. "Anita is an experienced leader with a proven track record of success," said Lawrence Garcia, MIHC President. "We are excited to have her leadership on such an important program."

Hispanics are a fast-growing group in the United States and outpace other groups in entrepreneurship and business establishment. But a stubborn academic completion gap remains. Nationally, only 67.1 percent of Hispanics finish high school and just 15.3 percent finish college. In Detroit, the rates are 52.7 percent and 6.1 percent respectively.

"I am humbled and honored to continue to build upon my community economic development experiences to support a gap and coordination of services for the growing Hispanic population," Anita said. "As a native Detroiter, and a life-long advocate for common sense programming, I look forward to forging new local and national partnerships to support the La Próxima Generación program."

La Próxima Generación will provide customized student and family assistance to encourage completion of high school and college degrees. The program will launch in Detroit and then expand to additional high schools in the metro area with significant Hispanic student populations. It is the long-term vision of the MIHC to grow and adapt La Próxima Generación programming in national markets with high concentrations of Hispanic students.

Anita is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and holds a bachelor's degree in Organizational Studies. She is currently working towards completing her MBA from Central Michigan University. In 2016, Anita volunteered her time and helped launch the University of Michigan's Latino/a Alumni Association and has served as its Chairperson since. Born and raised in Detroit, Anita is honored and humbled to be committed to the upward mobility and self-sufficiency in the community she was raised. Her career launched 15 years ago in the private brokerage and banking sector and evolved into non-profit community economic development as a financial coach at Southwest Solutions' Center for Working Families, in 2008. She has held her realtor license for over 15 years and has held property and casualty and life insurance licenses. She has dedicated the past 11 years of her career applying her extensive financial background to improve systems that assist constituents with growing their financial awareness and application of those principals and behavioral economic techniques. Her professional experiences have allowed Mrs. Martinez to pursue her passion, which is serving others and improving individual and family conditions in life. Anita identifies her most significant contribution to life is her role as a wife and a mother of five beautiful children.

Special projects and program oversight include: the Siemer Institute for Family Stability's homeless prevention, school stabilization, and financial capabilities dual generation work, Southeastern Michigan's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program, DTE's Low Income Self-Sufficiency Program (LSP), the Detroit Water Fund, 211 contact center, and UWSEM's microgrant program. You can reach Anita at, LinkedIn or on twitter at anitaluvmykids.

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