South Whidbey graduate works for social change

Estevan Munoz-Howard stops to take in the view during his travels through Ecuador.  - Photo courtesy of Paul Howard
Estevan Munoz-Howard stops to take in the view during his travels through Ecuador.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Paul Howard

South Whidbey High School graduate Estevan Munoz-Howard was recently named development director of Seattle’s Social Justice Fund Northwest.

Munoz-Howard, who is the son of Paul Howard of Clinton and Peggy Howard, graduated from South Whidbey in 2000, and most recently was the executive director of the Youth Media Institute in Seattle.

“I am the proud father that believes he will be the mayor of Seattle one day,” Paul Howard said of his son. His father said he knew all along that he would be something special. “His destiny has been to lead,” he added.

As development director, Munoz-Howard will be working to help recruit donors for giving projects, stay in contact with justice fund members and plan events.

Social Justice Fund Northwest is a member-funded foundation that supports the creation of a just society through fundraising, grantmaking and member involvement. The foundation provides essential resources to organizations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming to strengthen grassroots efforts in the broad-based movement for progressive, systemic social change.

Munoz-Howard has long been a fervent advocate for community empowerment — a characteristic he attributes to his study of political theory at the University of Puget Sound. It was during one of his political science classes that he first became interested in the concept of social capital, and he soon realized his professional calling lay in the nonprofit sector.

After graduating from UPS, he lived abroad for a couple of years in Japan and Ecuador before returning to Seattle, and establishing roots in the nonprofit community. His work at the nonprofit Youth Media Institute had him working with young people in Southwest Seattle, using media to foster critical thinking and civic engagement. He now serves on the Seattle Arts Commission and continues to find new opportunities for engagement whenever he can find the time.

After spending several years on the move, working in Japan and in Ecuador, Munoz-Howard is happy to be settled in Seattle with his wife Elisha and their son Aurelio.

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