Maria Velazquez

Executive Director, Telpochcalli Community Education Project

2019 Chicago Peace Fellow

Maria Velazquez is passionate about creating awareness and action on bringing humanity back to this country and is committed to social change. As a Mexican woman rooted to strong moral values she advocates for equal rights for every human being especially youth and women in society. As a woman she feels very strongly about being respected and acknowledge as a person with her own opinions, needs, views, and ways of doing things. Culture is very important to her and she tries to always go back to her roots and think about her ancestors who have inspired her to keep doing what is right and what she is passionate about.

Telpochcalli Community Education Project has been the perfect space for the acknowledgment and respect people need for their humanity to flourish. Expressing our dreams, our needs, and our ideas and having that opportunity and support to take action makes community projects a reality. This gives life to our soul and transfers that to our community therefore changing society for the better. TCEP has been a support system and safe space for many youth and immigrants looking to better their lives. At TCEP we face and address many challenges collectively and creatively developing supports systems to be able to build peace and understanding. As people become aware and acknowledge the power they have inside of them, community organizing projects arise, and change takes place.

“When we help others, we help ourselves. True change happens when we change ourselves through serving others.”

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