Dr. Maribel Alvarez holds the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona, and is faculty in the School of Anthropology. From 2018-2021 she served as Associate Dean for Community Engagement in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. In 2022, she was asked by the University of Arizona Provost to lead a comprehensive strategic realignment and re-tooling of the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. During her 16-month appointment as Interim Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion she is focusing her efforts on expanding mechanisms of institutional transparency and accountability, repairing organizational culture, advancing restorative frameworks for conflict resolution, and creating portals for campus-wide learning communities around inclusion and belonging.
Maribel is the founder and until 2018 served as executive director of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an independent nonprofit affiliated with the University of Arizona, which produces the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival in addition to 20+ programs and initiatives connecting artisanal economies, foodways, and traditional arts to community planning and neighborhood-based economic development throughout the US-Mexico border corridor. In 2018 the American Folklore Society awarded her the prestigious Americo Paredes Prize for “excellence in integrating scholarship and engagement with the people and communities one studies.” Maribel serves as Trustee of the Southern Arizona Community Foundation.