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About Us
Healing & justice center team standing on steps holding certificates

The Healing and Justice Center (HJC), a worker self-directed non-profit, stands in solidarity with, supports, and actively participates in organizing and advocacy for individuals and BIPOC communities. While also supporting community-based non-profit organizations and community members in developing a collective wellness culture that moves beyond individual self-care to holistic practices that address emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing, allowing us all to live dignified lives in which we advance social justice for all, not at the cost of our own wellbeing. Our work is founded on dismantling systems of oppression and boldly envisioning a new world of connectedness, inclusivity, and belonging. HJC acknowledges it takes a lot of intentionality and commitment to create an organizational culture in which those working to create social change also are challenging themselves as staff and change-makers within the organization to unlearn what has been internalized from living and operating within the systems of white supremacy, racism, colorism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and anti-Semitism. Unlearning and creating the world we want to live in requires an ongoing practice of self-attunement, healing and wellness tools, and ongoing exploration and support.

A worker self-directed nonprofit is a nonprofit organization in which all workers have the power to influence the programs in which they work, the conditions of their workplace, their own career paths, and the direction of the organization as a whole. HJC founders chose to develop HJC as a worker self-directed non-profit to decentralize decision-making power and challenge themselves, future staff, board members, and contributors to intentionally stay committed to creating systems that honor and deepen their ability to practice the organizational values in everyday interactions. With not many models of decentralized power in the nonprofit sector, HJC is committed to exploring and learning different ways of being in relationships, communicating, making decisions, sharing power, and resolving conflict that keeps us in alignment and fulfilling our organizational values. (our values will be posted below)

Healing & justice center team standing in office together holding paper hearts with messages

Our Vision

We envision healthy, resilient, safe and just communities empowered by nurturing healing-centered practices that enable strong healthy relationships.

Our Mission

It’s our mission to support BIPOC individuals, communities, and organizations by facilitating safe, healing, and connected spaces through our tailored programs, services, and advocacy initiatives that promote sustainable healing and justice practices. We aim to create a world where everyone can fully realize their potential and all individuals feel seen, heard, and valued.


HJC Values

Our Team

Meet The Team

Azucena Ortiz smiling wearing red blouse and earrings
Healing & Justice Center Branded Design

Azucena Ortiz


I am Azucena Ortiz, (Ella, she, her, they) a woman of color born in Mayan lands (Guatemala), raised in tongva lands (Los Angeles) and currently reside in Kawengna Tongva lands (Duarte, CA). For the last 18 years, I have been finding my way back to myself through personal healing and supporting others in their healing journey through my work as a facilitator, social justice advocate, and healer. I am a mother of two young men, 21 and 24 years old, my desire for them to grow in a better world is what ignited my passion for healing and social justice. I began my journey working with community as a parent educator at the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting (aka ECHO ). My growth and experiences stepping into an array of different roles in a grassroots organization invested in creating a paradigm shift rooted in nonviolence was foundational to my development as a coach , facilitator, and social justice advocate. In the continued fight for social change, while also continuing to live and be impacted by systems of oppression, I experienced burnout. The road to recovery from burnout required me to train and deepen my practice of self-reflection, self-attunement, and practices of embodied healing wellness practices. This led me to Critical Mass Dance Company where I became a Dance From The Heart Teaching Artist for the Women Empowerment Program helping woman-identified individuals reconnect to their bodies to reduce chronic pain, heal trauma, build self-confidence, reach their goals, and cultivate community. After receiving my BA in Organizational Studies and minor in Chicano Latino Studies my desire to integrate my experience and create a safe, healing and connected space for BIPOC community, organizers and advocates to continue to strive for social change while also living dignified lives integrating healing and wellness practices led me to co-found the Healing and Justice Center.

Jorge Rivera


After graduating California State University of Long Beach earning a BA in Psychology and Philosophy, Jorge worked in the private foster care sector but became disenchanted with the system. After exploring other careers, he became involved in his own community and local government. In doing so, he emerged as a grassroots community organizer advocating and fighting for tenant rights and affordable housing. Concurrently, he began his own personal journey and exploration of stress, trauma and the various modalities of healing. His personal and professional paths have since converged creating a desire to focus on healing trauma, fostering resilience and addressing systems of oppression and other root causes. To support this paradigm shift, he has set out on various ventures, one of which is co-founding and starting “The Healing & Justice Center.” Additionally, he helped found The San Gabriel Valley Tenant Alliance which is a supportive group of tenants that help foster and build tenant unions and associations throughout the valley. He also practices real estate supporting individuals and families to own within the communities they reside, and building generational wealth. His goals are to use this experience and knowledge of real estate to help inform and educate communities on home ownership, establish creative ownership solutions such as cooperative housing and create more affordable housing through collective financing models.

Jorge Rivera Co Founder smiling in grey button up in fromt of white wall
Karla Ortiz Smiling wearing white blouse in front of white wall

Karla Ortiz

Karla E. Ortiz (Ella, she, her), is a woman of color who believes in the power of searching within oneself to overcome adversity and heal past traumas, reconciling our present and striving for a future where we can create healthy, resilient, and safe spaces. She has a deep passion for helping others/communities access both internal and external resources to thrive. Karla began her journey at The People's Resource Center (Healing and Justice Center) in March, 2020 with a desire to break old patterns rooted in past trauma and strengthen her own resiliency. Among the many roles she plays at HJC she is a social media manager, she helped establish and manages the tenant hotline while implementing embodied listening, connected communication and regulation practices in each interaction. In a previous life, she has been a make-up artist, a beautician, worked in tourism, customer service, and a food vendor which has greatly informed her work ethic and ability to connect with and understand the needs of community.

Erick Ortiz

Erick Ortiz (he/him), joined the team as a ‘Healing and Justice Advocate’ as of Nov 2022. Through the advocacy services of tenant counseling and organizing for Digital Equity, Erick hopes to establish a long future in community organizing. He has a great ambition to grow his relationship to his community and develop his skills of advocating for self-love, empathy, and community action. Also a licensed real estate agent, his ultimate goal is to marry his work in advocacy with his work in real estate. In an effort to subvert and resist dominant paradigms, he hopes to enable disenfranchised groups to move up into homeownership, for the sake of individual prosperity and collective community ownership and wealth creation.

Erick Ortiz from The Healing & Justice Center
Erick Ortiz Smiling wearing glasses and black collared shirt
Karla Ortiz Smiling wearing white blouse in front of white wall
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Katherine Callejas

Katherine P. Callejas (she/her) joined the Healing and Justice Center as a volunteer in August 2023, where she contributed to the tenant hotline, created social media posts, and assisted with the curation of a comprehensive resource database. She earned a dual bachelor's degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of California, Riverside in December 2023. Committed to fostering meaningful connections within her community, Katherine is dedicated to advancing her expertise in advocacy, digital equity, and compassionate parenting. Her academic background and hands-on experience have equipped her with a profound understanding of the intersectionality of societal dynamics. Katherine is a firm believer in the transformative power of collective wellness, resilience, and healing from trauma. Her overarching goal is to empower communities through the embodiment of empathy and non-conflict communication. With a passion for social justice and community well-being, Katherine remains driven to make enduring contributions to the Healing and Justice Center's mission.

Our Brand

Our Branding

Healing & justice center logo in blue over miving ocean
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