Jessica Huerta developed her passion to end violence against women from a personal to a professional interest. As a Right to Know peer educator at the University of California, Irvine, she obtained training on crisis intervention and provided resources to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. In 2014, Jessica joined CHIRLA and as a Community Education Coordinator, she informs immigrant survivors about resources available to them regardless of their immigration status. In 2017, she received the DOJ accreditation on Immigration Law. Her job includes providing information about Know Your Rights and Labor Laws which gives her the opportunity to better assess and inform members on one-one and group basis about potential immigration reliefs, worker’s rights and social services.
Before coming to CHIRLA, she completed her Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine in 2011. In addition, she pursued her MA in Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary in 2013. She collaborated as a policy researcher with the Roma Initiative Project at the Open Society Foundation in Hungary. As part of her advocacy effort to provide resources to survivors, in 2017 she formed part of the Trauma Justice (TJ) cohort from the Women’s Policy Institute which allowed her to develop and advance an intersectional policy agenda that centers the needs of historically marginalized communities that had been impacted by gender-based oppression, violence, and discrimination. The TJ cohort joined forces and collaborated with community service providers to push for legislation that would allow incarcerated women have access to free and confidential outside hotlines crises for emotional support services related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health. The same year as a team, we advocated for legislation to create the California Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Fund. Her ability to connect with survivors and immigrant women has helped the immigrant community to empower themselves, demand their rights and social recognition with dignity and respect.