Corazón Healdsburg announced on Wednesday that it has hired its first-ever permanent chief executive officer. Attorney and human rights activist Glaydon de Freitas joined the four-year-old nonprofit in the midst of a destructive fire season and a health pandemic that has exposed and worsened long-standing inequities in northern Sonoma County.
De Freitas has worked as a lawyer in both his home country of Brazil and the United States, and most recently was head of strategic planning for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in Houston, Texas.
“The foundation of my work is human dignity, acknowledging people’s suffering but without minimizing their humanity,” said de Freitas. “And I believe that if we work strategically with local residents to identify the greatest needs and our greatest strengths, we can transform our community for the better.”
De Freitas was inspired to dedicate his life to human rights by the work of his family. All four of his grandparents were immigrants who fled the tumult of Europe during World War I and II for Brazil. As a young child de Freitas spent afternoons with his Spanish grandmother at the community center she led where impoverished residents could access milk and food, winter coats, childcare and adult education. His father became a lawyer at a later age, taking the law school entrance exam on the day de Freitas was born and then becoming a progressive district attorney, implementing transformative restorative justice programs as Brazil recovered from two decades of military rule.