Maritza Cruz

Director of Racial & Gender Equality, YWCA; Co-founder, Latino History Project

What I do here dovetails perfectly with my life work. I am going to be one of those people, ninety years old volunteering somewhere, fighting for what is just, for what is equity. I will continue to do that.  And I look at it this way, whatever knowledge I have acquired in this life—and I have been very blessed—I have a torch and I refuse to pass that torch on, I really do. Because I want you to light from it and then someone lights from you and they keep lighting and lighting. Eventually what is going to happen, you are going to see all this light, all this light that is going to be fighting against oppression and inequities and injustice. So, I love what I do here, I love what I do in my life.

Current Employer: 

Maritza Cruz, Director of Racial and Gender Equality of YWCA of Central Massachusetts and co-founder of the Latino History Project of Worcester, is a trail blazing organizer working within her hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts.  She was also the first female and the first Latina person to be a Director with the Worcester Housing Authority.  Ms. Cruz discusses her decades long fight for racial and gender equity in the City of Worcester. Cruz details the racial tension and marginalization people of color, particularly Latinos, faced during the late seventies, eighties, and nineties within Worcester. This interview also describes Cruz's own ventures into the political sphere, featuring discussions on her two City Council campaigns. At the core of Cruz's story lies the importance of consciousness raising through community involvement.

Interview Date: 
July 13, 2018
Interview Language: