>> Aimee Thompson Arevalo

Founder and Executive Director, Close to Home

Aimee is the founder and executive director of Close to Home.  Close to Home has pioneered the use of community mobilization strategies to foster community-wide responsibility to prevent domestic and sexual violence in Boston since 2002, and is currently sharing its approach with additional communities in collaboration with the Massachusetts and California Departments of Public Health.  Aimee brings a passion for grassroots organizing, community building, organizational and program development, training, participatory research, and collaborative learning to her leadership role.  She has a deep belief in the power of storytelling to create social change.

Aimee serves on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council to Address Sexual and Domestic Violence, the Massachusetts State Prevention Team, and co-chairs the Council’s Promising Practices Working Group. Aimee has been recognized by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the Social Innovation Forum, and Facing History and Ourselves.  She has provided trainings and workshops on Close to Home’s approach throughout the US, as well as in Germany, the Caucasus, Cyprus, Uganda and South Africa.

Prior to Close to Home, Aimee was the co-director of Project Harmony’s Domestic Violence Community Partnership where she managed the development of coordinated community responses to domestic violence in seven cities in Russia, Ukraine, and the Republic of Georgia.

Earlier in her career, she worked for the Child Witness to Violence Project at Boston Medical Center where she developed a group therapy program for children and women and led a seminar for Boston Police officers on how to work with children affected by trauma. 

Aimee’s commitment to community-driven approaches began when she was a community health worker at the Codman Square Health Center where she worked to improve community members’ access to health care, prevent youth violence, and increase the neighborhood’s civic participation through grassroots organizing.  She also has a deep belief in the power of storytelling to create social change.

Close to Home

Close to Home's mission is to foster community-wide responsibility to prevent and respond to domestic and sexual violence.  They work with local community members, policy makers, service providers, and other leaders in the domestic and sexual violence prevention and intervention field to implement community mobilization strategies in local communities; build and share knowledge with a community of practitioners; ensure broad adoption of policies and practices that support local community members in taking a leadership role to address domestic and sexual violence.

Close to Home has pioneered the use of community mobilization strategies to foster community-wide responsibility to prevent domestic and sexual violence in Boston since 2002, and is currently sharing its approach with additional communities in collaboration with the Massachusetts and California Departments of Public Health.