Maria Acosta is a writer and mental health advocate and has worked on various projects as support staff including the Hetrick-Martin Institute in Newark, New Jersey and the Newark Pride Association. In 2012 she was a co-organizer for C.L.I.T Fest (Combating Latent Inequality Together) in New Brunswick, New Jersey which was a three-day punk rock music festival that featured work-shops on social justice issues. The proceeds from the festival were given to Women Aware a Domestic Violence shelter that served the area. Her most recent work at Penn has been at PENNCAP where she was a counselor's assistant and the Graduate School of Education where she was an interim Financial Coordinator.
She believes in the power of marginalized people telling their stories and in 2013 co-founded No Shame Distro which is a small arts and zine distribution that solely distributes the works of people of color. This platform has allowed her to conduct workshops in university settings, have an online platform to promote writers and artists of color, and build personal connections by tabling at book fairs and events. Recently she has been awarded the Leeway Foundation's Art and Change Grant which provides project-based grants to women and trans* artists in the Delaware Valley region to fund art for social change projects. Maria's project will be a cultural artifact in the form of a zine that can be easily printed, distributed, and catalogued. She will also organize a release event that will showcase artists whose work deals with cultural preservation, loss, and healing.
As the Financial and Administrative Coordinator for the PWC she looks forward to supporting the center in its endeavors and helping students and colleagues with the intricacies of the University's financial systems.