Maria has walked in many worlds, having grown up in a purple house in New Jersey that her mother opened as a shelter for battered women and their children. That experience helped form the foundation for her social justice consciousness and all her work since then has maintained the value of supporting people and organizations through various roles including, lawyer, crisis counselor, law professor, mediator, organizational development consultant, facilitator, coach and trainer.
A graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Maria was a fellow with the National Hispania Leadership Institute, where she attended the Center for Creative Leadership and Harvard School of Public Policy. She received her mediation training from the Center for Understanding in Conflict and her coaches training from the Coaches Training Institute.
Her first book, Cultural Considerations in Domestic Violence Cases, examined ways to make the legal system more culturally responsive to the needs of domestic violence survivors. Maria’s forthcoming debut novel Rosie’s Blues is a story of how one woman transforms from hopelessness to hope with the help of a zany feminist and dose of divine intervention. She is currently working on her next book, Jobs: Life Lessons told through Paystubs, which includes the story of her transition from Professor of Law in San Francisco to cowgirl in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico.
She is the author of The Butterfly Series Workbook and Journal, which she designed for the writing and creative arts workshop she teaches.
Maria is a trainer with Rockwood Leadership Institute, the nation’s largest provider of multi-day, transformative leadership trainings for social change nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
To learn more about Maria’s work visit: