Mission

Mission Statement

Corazón Healdsburg is a mission-driven human-rights organization that believes in human dignity and human rights. As Aristotle has been telling us for more than two thousand years, justice is only achieved when we have equality. According to him “There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals.” People should be treated equitably and ethically, given their individual needs and circumstances, and the differences between people should be recognized and valued, not diminished. Our community is not demanding too much. We just want a compassionate and just community.

For this reason, through our participatory process, we decided that Our mission is to build a compassionate and just community by empowering and dignifying individuals and families, advocating against injustices, and uniting people to celebrate diversity.

Staff

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Ana Ruiz

Coordinator, Data Systems
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Through her role as our data systems coordinator, Ana works to ensure the integrity of Corazón’s data and to support the administration of the organization's Salesforce database. She is a first-generation immigrant raised in Healdsburg and was inspired to serve her community with her passion for data after taking ethnic studies courses as a student at Sonoma State University. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in American Multicultural Studies.
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Araceli Gutierrez

Program Coordinator, Social-Economic Impact
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Araceli oversees initiatives that increase the economic mobility of participants by building tangible skills to improve quality of life, and enhance employment, education levels, and economic empowerment. Before joining Corazón, she served as a high school special education teacher, and taught English as a second language to adult students. Araceli was born in Salinas, California to Mexican immigrant parents. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from San Jose State University.
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Bernice “bere” Espinoza

Immigration Removal Defense Attorney
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Bernice defends community members against immigration removal. She is a first-generation American and college graduate, and a Xicanx/Latinx civil rights lawyer. Her lifelong dedication to social justice has led to her activism, advocacy, a career in law, and even poetry -- all of which center on the social justice issues close to her heart (particularly immigration, racial justice and criminal justice reform). Previously she worked in public defense for 14 years. However, since 2012 she has specialized on the intersection between criminal law and immigration. She graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Law.
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Bianca Herrera Calderon

Program Manager, College and Career Prep
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Bianca leads Corazon’s Healdsburg’s College and Career Preparation program. She came to Corazón after eight years as a pre-admissions counselor at Sonoma State University, where she helped increase enrollment of a more diverse student body that included low-income, first-generation and ethnically diverse students. Bianca is a first-generation American, and she has a master's degree from Sonoma State in education and a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice studies from the same school.
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Caroline Rodriguez Gonzalez

Coordinator, Early Childhood Development
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Caroline is expanding our early childhood development programs and services to support the academic development of children from prenatal through five years of age. She joined Corazón with 14 years of experience working for several different nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County supporting parents by coaching them through the most important years of child development. Her own son inspires her dream that all children grow up in strong families with unconditional love. Caroline grew up in Healdsburg, and has a degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She is currently studying to complete her bachelor’s degree in sociology.
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Clara Richmond

AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project Fellow
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As AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project Fellow, Clara is spending her year at Corazón building out the systems needed to support a diverse, organized and easy-to-activate volunteer base. Clara was born and raised in Ukiah and currently lives in Windsor. In 2019 she spent four months studying in Cuenca, Ecuador as well as working at Fundación Tadeo Torres, an orphanage and temporary foster home for children. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Latin American studies from Lewis & Clark College.
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Cristal Lopez Pardo

Coordinator, Community Advocacy
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Cristal works to elevate and amplify the Latin-American voice and to transform this voice into actions aimed to change racist customs and adversarial policies in our community. She was raised in Healdsburg, and has nearly a decade of work experience in social justice activism and serving the local community. Cristal is a trustee for the Healdsburg Unified School District and the creator of the “Que Pasa en Healdsburg?” Facebook group. Cristal has two bachelor’s degrees from Sonoma State University—one in sociology and another in Chicane Latine Studies.
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Diego Armando González Guzmán

Coordinator, Youth and Teen Education
Diego leads our After-School Teen Center for our local Healdsburg High School students. He is a familiar face to many, after coaching soccer in Sonoma County for 10 years and working at Parkpoint Health Club before joining the Corazón staff in 2020. Diego was born in Uriangato Guanajuato, Mexico, and has lived in the US since the age of 5. He is currently studying English literature and philosophy at San Francisco State University.
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Dominique Petersen

Associate Director, Development
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Dominique works to secure donations and grant funding from individual supporters and foundations in Sonoma County, the Bay Area and beyond. She is an expert at sustainable fundraising, and is honored to share the meaningful impact of Corazón’s initiatives with our donors. Dominique is originally from Hollister, where she grew up volunteering through 4-H. She and her siblings all are first-generation college graduates. Dominique has a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit agency management from Sonoma State University.
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Erica Gutierrez

Program Coordinator, Volunteers
Erica coordinates our volunteer corps, supporting community members as they work together to achieve our mission and forge new relationships with each other. She started out with Corazón as a volunteer herself, and managed our Free Store after the Kincade Fire in 2019. It was in this role that she discovered her passion for serving the community. Erica was born in Willits and grew up splitting time between Northern California and Tepatitlán de Morelos in Jalisco, where she attended high school. She has six children and currently lives in Healdsburg.
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Erika Malfavón-Álvarez

Office Administrator
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Erika is an efficiency pro and a fan of a well-organized calendar. She supports our growing staff with operations management, written policies, program structures and more. Originally from Cotija de la Paz, Michoacán, Mexico, Erika came to Sonoma County with her family at age 13. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sonoma State University and is currently working towards her master's degree in organizational development at the University of San Francisco.
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Glaydon José de Freitas

CEO
Glaydon joined the Corazón team in the fall of 2020. Since then he has overseen the expansion of our staff, programs and services. Before joining Corazón, Glaydon was head of strategic planning for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in Houston. Glaydon became a lawyer when he was 21. He grew up in Brazil, and split his childhood between the megacity of São Paulo and a remote region of the Amazon where the nearest grocery store was a five-hour drive away. He is trilingual, speaking Portuguese, Spanish and English fluently.
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Guadalupe J. Lopez Jimenez

Corazón Healdsburg Fellow
Guadalupe is our first-ever Corazón Healdsburg fellow. She is spending the 2021-2022 academic year working with various departments at the organization, supporting the team with what she is learning in her social work master’s degree program at Columbia University. She previously worked with Corazón as a lead for the 2020 youth voter registration initiative and has volunteered with the organization since 2018. She is a Healdsburg High School graduate and the first in her family to attend college.
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Holly Fox

Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement
Holly is a community organizer committed to strengthening the social fabric of Healdsburg and northern Sonoma County. Her background is in communications and she loves sharing true stories about incredible people driving powerful changes in our community. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. 
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Lizbeth Perez

Programs Manager
Lizbeth was born in Mexico City and has resided in Healdsburg since 2001. Lizbeth is passionate about her community and has experience working in Mexico as a Social Worker and Adult Educator. She looks forward to providing community support similar to what she is so grateful to have received, allowing her to fulfill her passion for serving the community.
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Marcy Flores

Associate Director, Academic Development
Marcy specializes in supporting the youngest of our clients (and their families!) and oversees our academic development initiatives. These include our prenatal education and support program, infant and toddler early childhood education, Libros y Raíces early literacy program, the Kinder2College Fund, after-school programs, and FirstGen College Counseling. Before joining our team, Marcy worked for various Sonoma County school districts, served on the Hispanic Chamber Young Professionals Committee, and taught ballet folklórico classes. Marcy was born and raised in Geyserville and studied Chicano and Latino Studies and Early Childhood Education at Sonoma State University.
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Melinda Ellis

Chief Financial and Operating Officer
As CFOO, Melinda oversees all the operations and financials for Corazón Healdsburg. She played a key role in supporting emergency assistance efforts for those impacted by the 2019 and 2020 fires, as well as Corazón’s pandemic-related support. Before joining our team, Melinda worked in finance and operations for The Pahara Institute, a national leadership development nonprofit focusing on strengthening leadership for public education transformation. She also provided virtual business services to a variety of companies across the country. All told, she has more than 30 years of finance experience, and is a certified bookkeeper and certified Salesforce Administrator. Melinda has a bachelor’s degree of business administration in accounting from Evangel University.
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Vanesa Valdivia Aleman

Resource Navigator
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As our resource navigator, Vanesa is often the first person that our community speaks with when reaching out to Corazón. Before joining our organization, she worked with Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy and Services, where she helped students with their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals renewals. During her time as a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, she was co-chair of the Dreamers Club and helped open the first Dream Center at a California community college. Originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, Vanesa moved to Sonoma County when she was 12 years old. Currently, she is studying international relations and political science at San Francisco State University.
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Vanessa Ramirez

Administrative Coordinator
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Vanessa supports the organization’s day-to-day operations. She first got involved with Corazón as a volunteer and then worked as an outreach specialist as part of our COVID-19 vaccine equity initiative. Vanessa was born in Santa Rosa to Mexican immigrant parents and is a first-generation college student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in child development from Sacramento State University. Her long-term dream is to become a nurse.
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Yasmin Guillen Anguiano

Legal Asistant
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Yasmin assists the staff attorney with compiling country conditions, preparing immigration relief applications, and filings in EOIR and USCIS. Before coming to Corazón Healdsburg, she served as a legal assistant to the late Michelle Crawford, a revered private immigration attorney, from 2017-2020 and then worked at a non-profit for five months. Originally from Tumbiscatío de Ruiz, Michoacán, Mexico, Yasmin came to California with her family at the age of one. Her passion has always been to use her skills to help the immigrant community in direct services, advocacy and activism.

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