Aurea Montes-Rodriguez is the Vice President of Organizational Growth at Community Coalition, a social justice non-profit based in South Los Angeles. Born in Mexico but raised in South LA, Aurea is responsible for the development and sustainability of the organization. She is a passionate community organizer and advocate focusing on building black and brown unity, and has been working in South LA for over fifteen years.
Aurea built Community Coalition’s Development Department. She built a team responsible for raising $4.5 million annually, through public and private grants, a fundraising gala, and grassroots fundraisers. She led a successful campaign to purchase Community Coalition’s headquarters building, and Aurea is now working on a $5 million capital project to renovate it.
Aurea has also led efforts aiming to support family care in South LA by ensuring that grandparents, aunts and other relatives who care for children no longer living with their parents receive better treatment and resources within the child welfare system. In collaboration with Casey Family Programs, Aurea helped launch the first “state of the art” Kinship support center in South LA that combines programs and services with community organizing for relative caregivers and foster children to improve their wellbeing. This work has prevented thousands of children from entering the foster care system and being tracked into homelessness and prison by helping them stay with their families and in their community.
Currently, Aurea is a member of the Building Movement project working to build capacity within the non-profit sector and inform a stronger social justice movement at the national level. She is on the Board of InnerCity Struggle, an educational-justice organization in East Los Angeles. She is also the Co-Chair of the South LA Child Welfare Initiative, which seeks to improve the developmental outcomes for children 0-5 years in South LA and to reduce the risk of involvement with the foster care system.
Aurea attended UCLA, earning Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and Spanish Literature and a Master’s in Social Welfare. She is a yogi, and loves to enjoy the beach with her husband and children, Diego, Maya Nayeli, and Joaquin.
Read more about Aurea’s accomplishments from the Los Angeles Magazine community heroes profile.