Theresa Villa-McDowell

Terri Villa-McDowell is a Contract Senior Human Relations Consultant with the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging & Community Services/Commission on Human Relations. She currently leads the Anti-Hate Campaign, “L.A. vs Hate”, to protect vulnerable individuals, communities, and schools targeted for hate hate acts.  For over 14 years, Ms. Villa-McDowell worked to disrupt the “school to prison pipeline” by providing racial equity/impact of poverty trainings for school district staff and at the L.A. County Office of Education.  She has developed award-winning social emotional learning and systems to access mental health services for children and families at various high-need school districts.  Her work is based on the premise that social emotional supports for many children growing up in poverty-impacted homes is an educational equity issue.  Her work in education garnered over $10 million in grants to develop federal programs such as the inaugural School Climate Transformation Grant and Project Cal-Well Grant, as well as state and local grants, such as the Early Mental Health Initiative, at ABCUSD where she worked for over a decade. Ms. Villa-McDowell has over 25 years experience as a public interest attorney and has worked at Legal Aid Foundation of L.A.; Public Counsel and the National Immigration Law Center.  Her work addresses issues of low-income families, juvenile justice, immigrants/refugees, domestic violence and access to needed government services, including special education, nutrition, health care and mental health services.  She has also litigated cases involving these issues in federal and state courts.  Her professional and personal associations demonstrate her strong commitment to the issues surrounding children, youth and their families.