Zulema (Ruby) White Starr

President of National Initiatives, Director of LUPE

Ruby, is an American of Mexican descent born in the border town of Calexico, California and raised in the neighboring city of El Centro. During her illustrious 25 year career in the violence against women’s field, Ruby has operated and led domestic violence shelter and transitional housing programs, provided consultation and training in almost every U.S. city and territory and across Canada and South America, secured and administered over 15 million dollars in funds to improve outcomes for victims of violence, and lead the implementation of more than 50 federal projects to respond to violence against women.

Before launching LUPE, Ruby served as the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Casa de Esperanza’s, National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities (NLN). Here, she led programs such as the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women’s (OVW) program to Enhance Culturally Specific Services for Victims and the Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus program to strengthen the response of institutions of higher education. Prior to the NLN, Ruby spent the bulk of more than 15 years as Assistant Director of the Family Violence Department for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). At NCJFCJ, Ruby directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, national Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody and the OVW’s Safe Haven’s Supervised Visitation and Exchange Technical Assistance Program; the Adolescent Relationship Abuse Training for Judges Program; and the Federal Greenbook Initiative, an interagency collaboration to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment.

From 2004 to 2012, Ruby served as President of the Board of Directors for the National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, the most prominent national organization of its time working to eliminate domestic violence in the Latino community. She is a former national advisory committee member for the Women of Color Network and past president of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence. Ruby is the author of several articles including Resiliency in Children Exposed to Family Violence in Resiliency in Action Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities published by Research Press; Promoting Safety in Cases Involving Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in The Connection, published by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association; Working at the Intersections: Promoting Access and Accountability remarks at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women 2016 STOP Administrators & Coalition Directors Joint Meeting, Chicago, IL available at  http://also-chicago.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/STOP-Remarks-Ruby.pdf and Moving from the Mainstream to the Margins: Lessons in Culture and Power published by Springer US in the Journal of Family Violence (2018) available at https://rdcu.be/5CC0

Ruby holds a B.A. in speech communication from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the mother of two children: Chance White, 24, and Sierra White, 22, both graduates of her alma matter. Her father was born and raised in Magdelena, Sonora, Mexico. Hailing from a line of strong, political and civic minded activists, Ruby’s mother, Margarita Suaza, was born in Mexicali, Mexico and raised in the U.S. Ms. Suaza is the Executive Director of Sure Helpline Crisis Center, a violence intervention and prevention center serving various border towns in the Imperial County of California and honored at the state capitol in June of 2018 as the 56th Assembly District Non-profit of the Year. In addition to her professional experience, Ruby shares her personal experience as a child witness and child, adolescent, and adult victim of violence in hopes that her experiences will lead to better practices and outcomes for women, children, and families who experience violence.

Ruby Starr Family