Esta Soler founded Futures Without Violence (FUTURES) more than 30 years ago and transformed it into one of the world’s most effective advocacy organizations designed to prevent and end violence against women and children.
Under Soler’s direction, FUTURES, then called the Family Violence Prevention Fund, was a driving force behind the passage of the original Violence Against Women Act of 1994—the nation’s first comprehensive federal response to the violence that affects women, families, and communities.
Soler has led FUTURES as it developed trailblazing policies, programs, and public education campaigns, as well as leadership training that has helped lawmakers, health care providers, judges, and employers stop gender-based violence. Currently, Soler and her team are leadingChanging Minds, an award-winning national campaign to raise awareness, teach skills, and inspire public action to address children’s exposure to violence and childhood trauma.
A former advisory board member to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network created by UCLA and Duke University, Soler was also previously the vice chair of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. She has been a consultant and advisor to numerous public and private agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Soros Justice Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation, and the Aspen Institute.
A graduate of Simmons College who received the school’s honorary doctorate in 2006, Soler’s many awards and honors include a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship, the Koret Israel Prize, the University of California’s Public Health Heroes Award, Coro Center for Civic Leadership, and the UCSF Medal, among others. She has been featured on MAKERS, and her 2014 TEDTalk charted 30 years of tactics and technologies—from the Polaroid camera to social media—that have shaped the movement to end domestic violence.