Thursday, September 29, 2016

Staff Profile: Luz Alvarado, Community Advocacy Program Manager

Since 1994, Center for Domestic Peace has embodied home for Luz. Originally coming to the organization as a survivor with her two daughters, Luz quickly began volunteering during her stay at transitional housing, and then established herself on the frontlines, providing direct services first primarily as a hotline advocate and Spanish-speaking support group facilitator. She filled the temporary role of bilingual direct response advocate in the Community Advocacy Program (CAP) in early 2003, and by the end of that year, was promoted to a full-time position due to her strong work ethic. Her journey with C4DP continues – 12 years as staff member and counting – as she has served as manager of CAP for the past year. 

Luz’s team is comprised of four direct response advocates whom she works closely with, providing case management and on-going support along with tireless compassion and steady leadership. She has also been a community liaison since 2004, building outstanding relationships with county collaborators – law enforcement, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office, judges, family law attorneys, and community organizations – to enhance safety for victims. 

Furthermore, Luz has been the catalyst in bringing to life C4DP’s community organizing and advocacy group, Voces de Cambio (Voices of Change), a group of volunteers heavily active in outreach, education, and organizing within the Spanish-speaking community in Marin. To witness the transformation of these volunteers – from initial recipients of C4DP’s services to strong voices of empowerment and leadership – is a momentous accomplishment for Luz. Voces de Cambio truly lives up to its name, shaping a “community of change” that continues to break the cycle of violence, starting with children. Luz’s selflessness and devotion are a large part of its success! 
When asked why she has chosen to stay at C4DP, Luz says the emotions she experiences coming to work every day are equivalent to that of winning the lottery. She adds, “I’m going to contribute to a better tomorrow, to end this violence against women and children. The participants we serve are going to have a better tomorrow, for their children and for their children’s children.” 

The opportunity to live a life free of violence, as was given to her and her two daughters two decades ago, inspires Luz, every day, to be the voice for the disempowered and contribute to building social change. Moreover, she credits her two daughters and partner for being an amazing support system; her supervisor, C4DP’s deputy executive director, for exemplifying a great mentor; and her incredible team of CAP advocates. Luz says it is a privilege to be working at a feminist organization and with a board of directors who are strong, intelligent, and independent women.  

Outside of her work here, Luz is adventurous and free-spirited, appreciating the outdoors. She enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, doing yoga at the beach, and hanging out with her best friends, daughters Leasley and Annette.

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