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 a mother of 3 Wixárika & Coahuiltecan children. Mari has been an Arts and Social Justice educator and administrator for 9 years using arts integration and project-based learning as a vehicle for racial justice in school systems. Using her experience as a classroom teacher, Mari developed a framework for Decolonizing Instruction and has used the framework as well as her expertise in project-based learning to support K-12 educators as a curriculum writer, program designer, keynote speaker, PBL coach, and workshop facilitator. Mari is a 2022 Adding Voices Express: Speak Your Truth award winner. 

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. As the educational consultant on the We the People and We the Future campaigns, 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, and many more with hopes to bridge the gap between the social change movements and K-12 teachers who are on the frontlines of shifting culture towards radical inclusivity. 

In addition to managing the Education Amplifier network, she is the Executive Director of South End Stories, an organization committed to providing students of color storytelling opportunities through the arts. She is a National Faculty member at PBL Works, a nationally distinguished team of educators specializing in project-based learning. Mari is the author of the book series for children, Social Justice and You (Capstone Publishers, 2023).