Dear Friends and Community Members,
It is with deep gratitude for her leadership and dedication that we announce the retirement of our Executive Director, Cecilia Gastón. Cecilia’s feisty, passionate advocacy, and unwavering commitment to immigrant survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence made her a force to be reckoned with in New York City and she will be dearly missed at VIP. Cecilia will be closing out a decade of VIP leadership on June 30, 2018.
Under Cecilia’s directorship, VIP has doubled in budget and staffing, while maintaining its creative edge and innovative programming in support of the most hidden, vulnerable Latin American communities in NYC. Throughout her 10-year tenure, VIP has deepened its commitment to immigrants, people with limited English proficiency, and survivors of complex trauma, including sexual violence experienced during migration to the United States. VIP celebrates the loving and thoughtful stewardship that defined Cecilia’s leadership and will continue its deep work to connect with communities that have been scared further into silence in our current political climate.
After months of careful succession planning, VIP is also enthusiastic to announce that it has named Margarita Guzman as its next Executive Director. Margarita is a natural leader with over 15 years of experience across legal, government, and non-profit sectors. As a queer-identified, Chicana survivor of intimate partner violence, Margarita carries on VIP’s proud history of centering the leadership of Latinx survivors with extensive political, personal and professional experience in the movement to end gender-based abuse. Margarita joined VIP’s team of changemakers last year and has been working closely with Cecilia to ensure a smooth and well-supported transition.
Founded by feminist pioneers Beth Ritchie and Elsa Rios in 1984, VIP has always lifted the experiences of women of color, and will continue to serve survivors at complex intersections of identity. Concretely rooted in its specialization of working with Latinx survivors, VIP stands in solidarity with all communities to achieve transformation and liberation from violence.
Let us be the first to thank Cecilia for her incredible legacy of work and welcome Margarita in her new role!
Board of Directors
Violence Intervention Program, Inc.