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Our Team

Consuelo Valdez, MFT

Executive Director

Consuelo Valdez has spent most of her career working with issues of violence as Director of Community Organizing in the Boyle Heights Community, including 10 years with Homeboy Industries, first as a case manager and then a mental health therapist. Consuelo holds a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College.
For her innovative work creating Comunidad En Movimiento, a community organizing model, Consuelo was awarded Pioneer Woman of the Year, 14th Council District; Mentor of the Year from The Los Angeles Women’s Foundation; and her program won a national award from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.

Rita Chairez

Program Coordinator

Rita Chairez is the Program Coordinator for Healing Hearts Restoring Hope. A native of Zacatecas, Mexico, Rita has lived in Los Angeles since 1968, and in Boyle Heights since 1989. She has been actively involved with Dolores Mission and Proyecto Pastoral for the past 20 years. Starting as Community Organizer for Proyecto Pastoral, she helped to establish the Safe Passage and Safety programs, hosted dinners for the men at Guadalupe Homeless Project, led critical civic engagement projects, co-organized the annual Women’s Conference, and now sits on Proyecto’s board as a community representative.

In 2008, she started working for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles-Office of Restorative Justice as Coordinator for Victims’ Ministry. Rita coordinated bereavement training, lead support groups, dialogue sessions in parishes, and conferences that brought victims and their families healing and the possibility of moving forward from their loss. Rita’s journey has taken a new direction with her new role as the Program Coordinator for Healing Hearts Restoring Hope for those affected by homicide. In her new position, she coordinates programs for victims/survivors, families and community. Rita continues to work with the incarcerated in the prison system.