Sol Carbonell, associate director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, was honored in early September for her continued efforts to uplift the Latinx community in Massachusetts. The local Latinx organization Amplify LatinX honored 100 leaders and advocates from across the commonwealth for their work.
“Amplify LatinX is an amazing organization. It’s the only one of its kind in the entire country,” Carbonell said. “In the Latino community in every state, when organizations are looking for the opinion of Latinos or to diversify their boards and commissions, there’s usually a list of top 20 people that get called upon all the time. This time, these leaders got together and said, ‘It’s not just about us. It’s about ALL of us. It’s about the entire community.’”
The award recognized Carbonell for the work she led and supported at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where she tackled issues including workforce development and job quality, the racial wealth divide, and access to childcare, among others. She joined DRCLAS in January after more than nine years at the Federal Reserve.
As associate director of DRCLAS, Carbonell serves as an advisor to the Center’s Faculty Director and Executive Director on strategy, programming, faculty and student engagement, fundraising and donor relations, staffing, and budget. She earned a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and studied at the University of Buenos Aires and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Carbonell said she left the ALX100 award ceremony at the Boston Public Library “re-energized and even more committed to making a difference” in her role at DRCLAS. “There are so many Latinos that are working across Massachusetts to improve the lives of residents and make the state a better place,” she said. “It was wonderful to see that people were nominated from all kinds of industries, from healthcare to business to education and government. It was really powerful.”
While the award recognized the current work being done by Latinx leaders in the state and allowed them to create community, Carbonell said she hoped it would also inspire future generations.
“For younger generations to feel like those in positions of power are opening doors for them and to see themselves represented could make a tremendous difference,” she said. Carbonell encouraged younger generations of Latinx to reach out to others in the community, as well as other marginalized communities, and build a network to uplift each other.
In the spirit of opening doors and uplifting both the Harvard and local diaspora community, Carbonell invited community members to visit DRCLAS, whether they are Latinx or they know nothing about Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We are trying to build a global community that develops a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the most pressing issues facing the region,” she said. We want to leverage and expand the research, educational, and convening capabilities of Harvard to foster a more inclusive, equitable, democratic, and sustainable Latin America and Caribbean region.”