Maritza Reyes is the Director of the Sexual Assault Program at Mujeres Latinas En Acción, a Chicago based organization in existence for 45 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from National Louis University. Maritza has been working in the field of sexual violence prevention for more than 20 years and has been at Mujeres for more than 15 years. She began as the community educator of the program in January of 2002 and became the director in the fall of 2005. She feels strongly that everyone deserves to be free of sexual violence and to feel safe regardless of where they are or how they are perceived. The majority of Maritza’s career has taken place at Mujeres and this is because she recognizes the need for culturally appropriate services for the Latina community that are often not available.
Having grown up in the Pilsen neighborhood with immigrant parents has shown Maritza the need to continue to provide for her community, especially as that need has increased in recent years. She hopes the narrative of the last year and the focus on sexual violence will help shed a light on what Latinas have been experiencing for countless years and that that narrative will include their voices. She is currently the Convener for the Governing Body of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and serves on the Contracts Review Committee for the coalition. She is 40 hour trained in both sexual assault and domestic violence as well as ongoing trainings in the area of sexual violence prevention.