Isa Woldeguiorguis has been the Executive Director of The Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) since 2012. CHH has served victims of rape and sexual assault, provided education and awareness raising to eradicate sexual violence in the greater Lowell Massachusetts area for40 years. Prior to this, Ms. Woldeguiorguis has worked in the antiviolence field for twenty two years, holding several statewide and national roles in the movement to end sexual and domestic violence.
From 2007-2010. Ms. Woldeguiorguis worked at the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (Jane Doe Inc.) as the Policy Director and then Membership Director. Prior to this, Ms Woldeguiorguis worked at the Department of Social Services (DSS) now the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Massachusetts from 1994- 2007. She began as an advocate and ultimately became the Director of the Massachusetts DSS Domestic Violence Unit- the first such unit in the country and a national model for integrating domestic violence advocates in the public child welfare system. Her final tenure was serving as the Assistant Commissioner for Practice and Policy from 2004-2007, during which time she played a role in redesigning the agency’s practice model to become family-centered and assisted in building an integrated practice in substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence.
Ms Woldeguiorguis is a well-respected leader and national trainer in the field of children, domestic and sexual violence, system change, policy and practice. Ms Woldeguiorguis is well known for her dynamic training style and teaching skills on these topics and for her activism in the areas of race and racial disparities. She has authored several articles on topics such as family-centered practice in child welfare, racial and ethnic disproportionality and immigration.
Currently, Ms. Woldeguiorguis is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Women of Color Network(MAWOCN). MAWOCN is a group of women of color working in the domestic and sexual violence field who share a vision of a movement in which women of color are in leadership roles and have access to power; a movement that is not white-dominated, where women of color are valued and not tokenized.
The Mission of the MAWOCN is to support and maintain the leadership of women of color and to honor and elevate the role of women of color in ending violence. MAWOCN provides training, professional development, peer support/mentorship and works to challenge oppression and institutional racism.
The Center for Hope and Healing
For 40 years, The Center for Hope and Healing has been dedicated to the healing and empowerment of survivors of rape and sexual assault through counseling, advocacy, and education. Using a social justice approach, The Center for Hope supports survivors and works toward creating community free from sexual violence.