Former director Joe Balderas will serve in a newly
created role as director of building and grounds. SQACC has a
number of community gardens in addition to several buildings.
The two centers forged a partnership last year when SQACC
reached a long-term lease agreement with the City of Toledo on
behalf of the Believe Center for its current location.
Durán’s salary will be funded through a recent grant awarded to
SQACC. She stated the Center will need to think “outside the
box” on other funding sources. The Center also plans to hire a
development director to seek outside funding and write grants.
However, Ms. Durán herself brings some skills that will be
utilized at the Center: as a licensed family therapist and
experienced grant writer.
“I’m really excited about this position because it’s a lot of
different elements—art and culture,” she said. “Also, there are
lots of parts about being Mexican and the Latino side. It adds a
cool dynamic to the Center.”
“Ms. Durán was
selected for her education, resourcefulness, passion and
commitment to the South Toledo community,” said María
Rodríguez-Winter, board of trustees president. “Having
worked in Europe and Japan, SQACC is delighted that she returned
to Toledo where she can not only broaden the direction and
progression of the goals of the SQACC organization but also to
serve as a significant role model to the youth of the Latino/
Ms. Durán informed this reporter: “I just want to give back to
the Old South End that was so good to me growing up,” she said.
“I’d like to help bridge the relationship between all the
agencies. We all claim the same territory, but we need to work
together. There are a lot of people here who need our help, so
we need to collaborate.”
will be responsible for the management and leadership of
advancing the mission and vision of the organization, enhancing
Latino/Latina Art and Culture through education, cultural
diversity, global awareness, stewardship, responsibility, and
done non-profit work before, but in housing—with Habitat for
Humanity and the National Fair Housing Center in
Washington, D.C. She also worked in foreign countries at various
military bases, working with children as a licensed
Durán earned a master’s degree with honors from the
University of Toledo, as well as completed an undergraduate
degree at Bowling Green State University, with a minor in
She attended Queen of Apostles School as a child and has
an infant son, Leandro, as shown on the cover of La Prensa.
“I would like to enhance the programs that fall in line with the
mission of the Center,” she said. “We will brainstorm ideas for
new programs in the next couple of weeks.”
SQACC’s monthly First Friday also had on display raised
flower beds, picnic tables, and birdhouses that are for sale as
a fundraiser for the Center, as the multitude savored comida
mexicana. A new SQACC website will debut, which will allow
supporters to donate through PayPal.
SQACC will continue to collaborate with the Believe Center
on projects and programs. For example, a neighborhood cleanup
day is set for May 4 in the Old South End, which coincides with
the late Sofia Quintero’s birthday. It’s also in memory of
Dan Román, a Believe Center coach who passed away several
According to Ms. Durán, the Center will continue to take an
active role in the Broadway Corridor Coalition, a group of Old
South End agencies who banded together to advocate for the
neighborhood and share resources.
On a personal
level, the new post allows her to carry on the
Durán family legacy of commitment to the
Latino/a communities and non-profit organizations. Her family
has served in a variety of capacities over the years in the Old
South End with groups, such as the Farm Labor Organizing
AFL-CIO), Catholic Charities, and the former Guadalupe Center.
Rico de la Prensa contributed to this report.
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