Kate Barron-Alicante, CFP®, MsC

Director of Impact
Portrait photo of Kate Barron-Alicante

My Story

“Don’t go looking for what you can’t handle.” 

This is what my Cajun maternal grandmother said to 7 year-old me over our crawfish etouffee dinner. I’d had the rare chance to sit next to the matriarch at the holiday dinner grownups’ table and I’d just worked up my courage to ask her about who her people were. Her curt answer dropped a blanket of shame, guilt, and fear on me. Deflated and disempowered, I returned to my plate, a child newly aware that “we don’t talk about those things.” 

Decades later, I’d spent years traveling and working on global economics, inequality, and connecting with my immigrant father’s side. As I contemplated a return to the US, I began to feel an old pull to that childhood dinner table moment. I was still curious about her, my only grandparent who was born and raised in the US. What about her (our) people? Her reply still provoked me. I sensed that searching for the answer to this question would take me on a journey to an unknown destination – through obstacles like the heavy emotions I felt at that dinner table. To look closer at our story would open up new terrain. Could I handle it?

I began a quirky, self-directed genealogy project to understand my family’s place in the context of US history, power, race, and capitalism. I unearthed unknown family histories and legacies stretching back to the 1700s. In addition to my own learning, I found ways to share the findings with my extended family which spurred new conversations about who our people were. 

At the time, my years of work in philanthropy and nonprofits placed me squarely inside the broader movements of racial, social, and climate justice. But in truth, it was this ancestral work that rooted me into who I am inside these spaces. I will never know the answer to what it was my grandmother referred to that day. But the deeper I went on this journey, the more I uncovered what I wanted for my own legacy. I am at peace with that unknown.

Today, I would tell my late grandmother with great love that I can, in fact, handle it. I would tell her it was only by looking that I found my unclaimed power. It was only by looking that I opened space for healing and for change. It was only by looking that today I am writing us all a new and beautiful legacy.

How I’m expanding what’s possible with money

I help my clients truly grasp, in concept and numbers, how money fuels their dreams and their contribution. In my life, I’m supporting loved ones to build and sustain social enterprises and NGOs, to get their education, to feel secure in old age, and for us to enjoy shared experiences and create life memories together.

Outside of work, my passions include

Enjoying the day-to-day of watching my children grow. Being in nature. Working to continually develop and expand my point of view and understanding through travel, reading, conversations, and being as curious as possible.

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