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Florencia Velasco Fortner

The Concilio
President and CEO

For 25 years, Florencia Velasco Fortner has used her experience as a grassroots organizer and child advocate to positively impact low-income families throughout North Texas and Southern California. Before joining The Concilio, she worked as an organizer with the legendary Industrial Areas Foundation, diffused cultural clashes in Santa Ana’s affordable housing communities, and helped launch Education is Freedom college access program with Dallas ISD.
It was her intervention work with gang members in L.A., however, that taught Florencia the critical role parents play in helping at-risk children. She recently wrote in The Dallas Morning News about discovering that a six-month intervention with a young girl had failed: “At that moment I had an epiphany. I had mistakenly assumed that it was enough that I cared intensely about helping her... Now it was apparent that if I wanted to make a difference in her life, I needed her mother’s help.”
Since then, Florencia has become a nationally-recognized expert on parental engagement. She is frequently interviewed by print and TV media, where she champions the importance of engaging parents as the most effective way to improve children’s lives. She is also widely regarded as an expert on Latino culture, engaging Latino families, and the achievement gaps in low-income communities.
In 2005, Florencia joined The Concilio, which empowers high-risk families to take active roles in their children’s health and education. Under her leadership, The Concilio has quintupled its assets and increased the number of families served from 2,000 to over 14,000. In 2014, The Concilio was named “Nonprofit Agency of the Year” by CNM Connect, and in 2015, Florencia received the “LA CIMA Nonprofit Leader Award” from the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In November 2019, Florencia was named “Nonprofit CEO of the Year” by the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM).
Florencia is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of Leadership Dallas, Power of Self, and Cultivating Women’s Leadership. She is a member of the Dallas Summit, Dallas Assembly, and Hispanic 100. She serves on the Hispanic Ambassador Council for Communities Foundation of Texas, and the advisory boards of the Dallas Women’s Foundation and Archives for Women of the Southwest at SMU. She also serves on the board of directors for Commit! and the Texas Leadership Forum.
Florencia is a pastor’s wife at New Mount Moriah Baptist Church and serves on the Deaconess Board. She is a proud mother of a 17-year-old daughter.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, February 8

10:30am MST