Maria Martinez joined the WMFDP team as a consultant in 2020. Below, Noah Prince interviews Maria about her facilitation style, identity, and how her life experiences have influenced how she shows up in the world as an advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion.
1.) Describe your facilitation style.
I try to show up as the most authentic version of myself. Knowing that I don’t have 50 years of experience to pull from, I do have my experiences. I show up as the most real version of me. Most times it works and creates a sense of community. I am an authentic people connector.
2.) What are the intersections of your identity? How does that inform your work?
I am Latina, white, woman and immigrant.
At this point, I am showing most as a Latina. A Latin immigrant in the United States. There are other times where I show up more as a woman. I think my most defining characteristic is Latina. I seek to rumble with my “whiteness”, and consistently challenge the power and institutions that have allowed me to succeed. I am informed from my experiences that there is a possibility of humanity and empathy everywhere I go.
3.) What do you like most about living in NYC?
The differences in people every day. Different social interactions. New York is where you can go to experience every day differently. You subscribe to a certain level of discomfort which makes it easier to be uncomfortable and grow in other places in life.
4.) What does your family mean to you?
My family was split up by the legal system when I was 17. I learned that no matter how far you are from the people you love, if you want to connect you can. Family is an anchor—my purpose. The way in which my family was split apart has informed how I protect the spaces for other immigrant families.
5.) If you were stranded on a desert island with 5 records and a record player, what would those records be?
1-3 Beyonce albums.
I am not a big music person. I was forced at a young age to play a lot of instruments, and I withdrew from music. Another story that immigrant parents face when they try to put their children in the best light and force them to do things. I have a love-hate relationship with music.
Learn more about Maria Martinez by reading her bio and tuning into episode 23 of the Insider Outsider Podcast — Latino | Hispanic Identities: Sharing Cultural Differences and Commonalities.
About White Men as Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP I FDP Global):
Our work over the last 25 years has helped thousands of global leaders courageously grow their consciousness and cultural competency to create and sustain inclusive work cultures. Over this time, we have worked across the political spectrum as inclusion is a human rights issue, not a political one. We believe freedom of choice and differing voices and perspectives are the strengths of a democracy and striving for a common good, not a threat to it.
And, we believe in equity—the ability for every person to have access to opportunity and for every person’s voice to be heard and to matter. We are committed to creating cultures where everyone feels seen, heard and valued. WMFDP is committed to using diverse perspectives to grow courageous leaders and promote inclusive cultures in the United States and around the world.