Maria Reyes Pacheco's commitment to advocating for human rights is demonstrated in multifaceted, ongoing ways, and is deeply rooted in her personal experiences as an immigrant. Her passionate, intelligent advocacy and relationship-building capacity has drawn her to connect students, faculty and staff with community groups, resulting in stronger partnerships and more beneficial outcomes for all. Maria has invested her passion for social justice into efforts to foster an ethically-engaged , diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution. On campus, she has served as a Community Outreach Multicultural Liaison, and in a leadership role with the Alliance of Latin American Students. Maria was also awarded a funded summer internship through our Center for Peace & Global Citizenship to work with New Sanctuary Movement, an interfaith and multicultural immigrant justice organization based in the Greater Philadelphia region. She exemplifies the Haverfordian ideals of trust, concern, respect, service, and integrity.
Coming from an immigrant family, I have witnessed the injustices my community overcomes as they make a life for themselves in a new country that runs on their labor yet treats them as less than. In high school, I used cultural resistance to navigate these issues and in college I have had the opportunity to directly engage in community organizing. This started on campus as a Community Outreach Multicultural Liaison and an Alliance of Latin American Students Board Member. A lot of the organizing skills I’ve learned come from my internship at New Sanctuary Movement, a grassroots immigrant organization in South Philadelphia. One of my main takeaways has been the importance of prioritizing empowerment. By giving others space to share their stories or lead campaigns, we build community leaders. The immigrant community in Philadelphia alone is a diverse one, made up of different cultures and ethnicities. For this reason, uplifting leaders, each with different stories, strengthens the movement as a whole. This allows us to continue fighting, phone banking, marching, dancing, and singing until there is a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants and every person in our community is given the rights and respect they deserve.