María Velázquez is a Chicago native and the Program Manager of Immigrant Justice Partnerships at the Resurrection Project (TRP), where she is currently supporting the $10M Illinois Access to Justice grant in its inaugural year. This program directs state funds towards holistic legal and support assistance for Illinois’ marginalized communities, immigrants facing deportation, and the formerly incarcerated. As a result, beneficiaries will be able to more seamlessly reintegrate into their families, communities, and the workforce. Prior to joining TRP, María was the Senior Program Coordinator of Youth Initiatives and National Events at the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE). While with HACE, she led the expansion of their high school program El Futuro, coordinated several youth-focused STEM conferences, and expanded the University Leadership Academy & Scholarship program. Prior to HACE, María organized for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Here, she led naturalization efforts engaging local and national organizations through campaigns such as the New Americans Democracy Project, which mobilized the 2016 immigrant vote in Illinois.
Born and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood to Mexican immigrant parents, María’s work is guided by her passion to connect and support students and young professionals with mentors and career opportunities to promote their growth and advancement. María holds a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Iowa, is a lifelong sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, and currently serves on the boards of the CHCI Alumni Association Chicago Chapter (President) and Planned Parenthood’s Future of Choice – Chicago (Member).