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Women’s and Gender Studies

Mariana Cruz

Adjunct Instructor

Women’s and Gender Studies / Social Justice

Ms. Cruz is passionate about questions of (and solutions to) equity, justice, and inclusion – especially as they pertain to economic disparity, racial, religious, and cultural discrimination, sexism and homophobia. Her work is motivated by the intersections between her own experiences growing up as a working class, bilingual, bicultural Puerto Rican in New England and bearing witness to the pervasiveness of discrimination and social injustice that manifest in everyday life for so many individuals, families, and communities. 

Ms. Cruz’s areas of research and praxis include diversity education, de-colonial activism, inclusive community building, intergroup dialogue, and agency/structure relationships of power. Current projects include an auto-biographical series of short stories that cover themes such as Puerto Rican identity production, education, gender roles, family relationships, race and class, and colonialism. 

Since 2015, Mariana has had her own consulting business, focusing on the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a consultant, she has worked with colleges and universities, community-based organizations, city government, and non-profit organizations in their social justice initiatives and efforts toward greater understanding and inclusion. She previously worked in higher education administration at Amherst College and in multicultural affairs at the University of Southern Maine. She has also taught at Rutgers University, Bowdoin College and Cornell University.

Degree(s)

A.B.D., Cornell University, Education – Learning & Teaching, minor in Latino/a Studies
M.S., Cornell University, Education – Adult Education, minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
M.A., Texas Woman’s University – History & Government, minor in Women’s and Gender Studies
B.A., University of Puerto Rico – General Studies, minor in Gender Studies

Teaching

Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Introduction to Social Justice

Professional Experience

Owner/Founder, M2CG Diversity and Inclusion, Portland, Maine
M2CG consulting offers a range of services aimed to support and enhance organizational efforts towards cultivating a diverse and inclusive climate where members can thrive in a collaborative, productive, and innovative environment. This includes training and workshops, program development, and guided groups.