Meet the team: Olivia García

My main responsibilities are to:

  • Help advance the development and implementation of a national Latin@ public policy agenda to prevent and eliminate domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence and support healthy families and communities.

  • Work in conjunction with the Policy, Training and Research divisions to develop resources and enhance training and technical assistance.

Where are you from?

El Paso, Texas

Where do you feel most at home?

I feel most comfortable in my home office sharing a lesson plan with my Chicano Studies or Victimology students and I think it is because I am exchanging information with them. I like the learning that is taking place between us. I also feel most comfortable when I am walking outside (when the weather allows) and meeting new people. For me, home is not necessarily a place, but a feeling of one-ness with the surrounding environment.

What inspires you, professionally and personally?

I am inspired by the idea that each of us can contribute to making the world a better place. I believe all of us make a choice every day to spread love and not hate, to educate ourselves and our community and to put our best selves forward. I am inspired by this idea and that every day, I get to do things that help, rather than hurt, society.

This idea inspires me both personally and professionally. Professionally, I want to contribute excellent work on policy analysis, research and training that will make our community able to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. I do believe we can eradicate violence and that also inspires me.

In terms of your work for the Esperanza United, what are your areas of expertise or what areas are particularly interesting to you?

I am really excited to return to public policy and ensuring that laws are equitable and just to the Hispanic/Latinx community. I am also very excited to share information through trainings because it reminds me a lot of teaching, which I greatly enjoy too. I bring with me years of experience in writing, research, adult online learning, and victim service knowledge. I also love learning from others, so I look forward to learning from everyone at Casa!

Share one thing you have learned, big or small, doing your work.

I (re)learned that collaboration is key to being successful in social change. I believe that there is enough work for everyone and that we are more productive when we share our victories and tasks, rather than try to do everything ourselves. As we work towards social change, there is less need to work in silos. There is plenty of work to do right now so everyone can positively contribute to social change.

Who inspires you?

The women in my family are very strong, smart and dynamic so they inspire me and humble me. I have also had amazing mentors who inspire me to keep fighting, stay focused and help others.

I also try to find inspiration through every day things like walking outside or looking out the window from my home office. Inspiration is everywhere!

What do you do to relax, de-stress or recharge your batteries?

I relax through meditation, exercise, getting acupuncture, watching my partner create art (he is an oil painter) and cleaning house. Doing something fun and out of the ordinary with loved ones is always a treat!

Why have you chosen to do this kind of work?

I have chosen to do this kind of work because I want to help provide the best possible resources to people experiencing intimate partner or other violence. I want to contribute to giving others hope, making them aware of resources, and reminding them that there is someone who will listen.

I also believe that as human beings, we have a responsibility to care for others or at the very least to do no harm to others. This work allows me to serve others and give back like no other job I have had. I also enjoy the challenges of finding new ways to share information and help others understand that violence is harmful for our society.

What is your favorite food?

I love all food, but I have been on a healthy diet lately, so I figured out that I love coconut ice cream. I also love paletas (Mexican ice pops) and miss the ice cream vendor from my hometown neighborhood. I remember hearing the music of the paletero (ice cream vendor) and counting change to see if I could get an ice cream.

What is your favorite book?

I like Paulo Coehlo books like The Alchemist, and Warrior of the Light. The last book I read was Diane Guerrero’s In the Country We Love: My Family Divided which was insightful. I used it to connect with students since they love her in the television shows Jane the Virgin and Orange is the New Black.