Univ. MN’s Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health
Building a Democracy Movement
Maria Arboleda is a longtime community activist, bi-lingual doula and domestic abuse consultant and victims advocate. Originally from the beautiful country of Colombia, she and her son now call Minneapolis MN home. Recently as a volunteer with Witness for Peace, she traveled to Cuba, just after President Obama’s delegation, to learn about land rights and trade as the U.S. and Cuba began normalizing relations. As always, Maria’s interest was how U.S. policy and the blockade most affected women and children.
As Community Affairs Coordinator for The University of MN’s Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health for 5 years, she served as a bridge between the University and local Latino community members, and other organizations that provide services to the Latino community. Her goal was to promote healthy decision making and foster that family connection among the youth. As a Prime Time Case Manager at the U of Minnesota, she implemented components of teen pregnancy prevention program research, including mentoring, program facilitation and maintaining community relationships. She spent 3 years at Aqui Para Ti as a family specialist where she made connections between Latino parents and their teenagers and families with the resources in the community. She conducted health education for the adults and as an advocate for the youth, communicated their needs to the schools.
Whether it is as a doula assisting expecting mothers and their families to prepare for birth, or as a Domestic Abuse Advocate helping clients navigate the legal justice system after an assault and serving as a liaison between victims and the court, Maria’s ties to the women and youth in her community are among her top priorities. Her commitment and passion in her work are unwavering as she continues to be a voice for her community.