Maribel Valdez Gonzalez
Maribel (Mari) Valdez Gonzalez is Native/Xicana of Wixárika and of Spanish descent. Her grandma’s are from the Mother Mountains of Sierra de Morones in Zacatecas, Mexico. She is an educator, keynote speaker, published author, and 2022 Adding Voices Express: Speak Your Truth award winner. Mari has been honored to work with youth and adults to decolonize and humanize pedagogical practices, social structures, and belief systems in classrooms and beyond as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and as an educational consultant.
In her role as Director of Curriculum and Assessment with South End Stories in Seattle, she nurtures an antiracist, culturally sustaining arts-integrated approach to project-based learning by supporting teaching artists, classroom teachers, administrators, and other educational partners with professional development, project design, and school-specific programming.
She is a founding leader of the Education Amplifier program which began in the fall of 2017 where she provided educators with teaching tools created by Amplifier social change movement partners to guide students toward action. Mari has collaborated with and offered curricular guidance to organizations such as the Women's March, March for our Lives, Earth Guardians, Families Belong Together, IllumiNative, She Can STEM, Protect the Sacred, Free Migration Project, the Washington Bus, Newsela, City University of Seattle, and many more.
Mari is passionate about creating academically engaging learning experiences through a culturally sustaining environment that fosters empowerment, healing, and radical kindness. Committed to creating systems centered on equity and justice, she is a member of the Antiracist Arts Education Task Force for Visual & Performing Arts for Seattle Public Schools. She co-authored the Roots Framework, used to create antiracist and culturally responsive classrooms using the decolonial act of reflection. Additionally, Mari is the author of the book series for children, Social Justice and You (Capstone Publishers, 2023).