I was raised in Madison, Wis., by hippie parents. My mother was raised Jewish in Evanston, Ill., and my father was raised Catholic in rural Wisconsin. The mix of religions, wealth, education, and geography impacted my childhood. The whiteness united it all. I identify as a white woman, cisgender, able-bodied, Jewish by heritage, and spiritual af. I am married to a native Mexican man. We are raising two bilingual/multicultural children. When Carlos and I first met we lived in Mexico for three years, which is where we had our first son.
We’ve lived in Madison since 2002, but consider Puerto Vallarta our home as well. As a family, we have radical views on how we want the world to change. The understanding of unearned privileges and the opportunities I’ve been offered because of them, along with my experiences of internal and external oppression, compels me to do better and be better.
When you work with me, you work with ALL of me.
Sara Alvarado is an author, speaker, teacher, and co-conspirator who works in racial justice and real estate. She believes that the way to tackle difficult topics in both life and business is to show up real, raw, bold, vulnerable, and always ready for fun. Sara’s first memoir, Dreaming In Spanish, comes out in March of 2023.
Sara published the Racial Justice Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals (2020), a Guide for Change Agents (2016), an essay in I Didn’t Know There Were Latinos In Wisconsin (2014), and numerous articles. Sara is a fierce advocate for social justice and challenges the status quo and systems of oppression with her straight talk and loving ways.
Sara is the Co-Founder of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth with a group of dedicated, diverse, and passionate community leaders in the Madison, WI area. She also co-owns Alvarado Real Estate Group with her husband, Carlos, who now leads the company.
Sara currently serves on the board for Centro Hispano, All Things Alzheimer’s and helped create and co-found STEP UP: Equity Matters. She is listed as a founder of both Nuestro Mundo Community School and Badger Rock Middle School, where she also served as a board member. She served on the boards of Sustain Dane as well as the local Realtor Association. Sara has been recognized in InBusiness Magazine’s 40 under 40 list (2013) and Madison Magazine’s M List (2015).
Addressing the Money Conversation
This is an important question because as a white woman who has and continues to benefit from generational wealth, I constantly question the flow of money and resources. I have learned to practice critical thinking and discernment and still have a ways to go.
I acknowledge and am aware that I participate in a capitalistic culture. Currently, this is a brief list of how I navigate the complications of being a white woman, earning money, participating in capitalism, investing in anti-racism work, and redistributing wealth.
I haven’t figured it out. I am a work in progress and this is not perfect. In fact, it is flawed. But it is also better and I will continue to aim for better.
- Our company, Alvarado Real Estate Group, has a bold commitment to social justice. Read more here. As part of that commitment, a percentage of Alvarado Real Estate Group earnings go to the down payment fund for Black and brown homeowners through the OWN IT: Building Black Wealth program.
- As Co-Founder of OWN IT: Building Black Wealth, I use my social capital, time, energy, experience, and skills to ensure the organization is operating at a high level of integrity and ultimately works toward the mission of building Black and brown wealth.
- I vote, financially support, and contribute time, energy, and passion to the political campaigns of women of color in local, state, and national politics.
- I invest in and support organizations led by people of color in the Madison, WI area. Mentoring Positives, Freedom Inc, Urban Triage, Centro Hispano, to name a few (there are many, many more).
- I seek out, hire, and learn from people of color in their professional areas. Representation matters and discernment is also a key factor in choosing who I work with.
“Education does not make us educable. It is our awareness of being unfinished that makes us educable.” Paulo Freíre