María Ochoa is an acclaimed writer, activist, and teacher whose commitment to social justice finds its way into her work as an educator at the university level and in the community. Her writing and scholarship is particularly focused on the relationship between artistic expression and social agency.
Ochoa’s latest books include Shout Out: Women of Color Respond to Violence
, an anthology (co-edited with Dr. Barbara K. Ige) that includes creative non-fiction, research findings, poetry, and visual art by more than 50 women and girls from around the world and the highly lauded oral history collection Creative Collectives: Chicana Painters Working in Community
Her other book, Voices of Russell City: A Public History About People and Their Rural Community
, tells the personal stories of Mexican, African American, and ethnic white residents of a rural Alameda County, California community, against the backdrop of a critical race history of California. Ochoa is also the producer/director of a documentary film short that complements the book, "Voices of Russell City: The Reunion Picnic."
Ochoa’s lively and engaging presentations include:
• “Hopeful Insistence, Informed Resistance: Writing and Social Agency”
• “Liberating the Historical Narrative: Creating Oral History Projects”
• “Coloring Outside The Lines: The Role of Arts Activists in Contemporary Social Movements”
In recognition of her contributions to the arts, the California State Assembly honored María Ochoa as 1999 Woman of the Year. Other awards include an artists’ grant from the Creative Work Fund, two Ford Foundation research fellowships, a National Women’s Studies Association prize for her dissertation, and a residency with the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Ochoa earned a doctorate in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz and a BA in Humanities from New College of California. She currently teaches at San José State University in the Department of Social Science and the Women’s Studies program and has also taught courses at Cal State Hayward, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford University in the areas of art history, American, Chicana/o, cultural, ethnic, and women's studies.
María Ochoa writes everyday, and has done so since the age of seven. She speaks (and dreams) in Spanglish.