MARIA APONTE is a Poet/Performance Artist/ Community Arts Activist/Educator. Maria works in Latino Theatre against racial discrimination and women’s rights. She has written and performs her two one woman shows, Lagrimas de mis Madres an autobiographical play based on the women in her family, and I Will Not be Silenced based on the life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. Maria performs her work at colleges/universities/ conferences locally and nationally. She has been featured on Bronx Net, News 12, NBC Latino and WABC-TV. Maria has been published in The Marymount Review, the literary magazine of Marymount Manhattan College. She studied at the Iowa University Summer Writer’s Workshop. Her one woman show, Lagrimas de Mis Madres was published by Marquette University and Western Michigan University in Caribe Revista de Cultura y Literatura. She has been published in Phati’tude Literary Magazine’s issue; ¿What’s in a Nombre? Writing Latin@ Identity in America, The Nuyorican Women Writers Anthology published in Voices e/Magazine, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College- CUNY; an online literary journal, editor Dr. Nancy Mercado. In May 2013 Maria’s first book, Transitions of a NuyoricanCinderella won 2nd Place for Best Poetry in English at the International Latino Book Awards. Transitions of a Nuyorican Cinderella is listed on RockThoseReads selected books about Harlem by Total Equity Maria’s second book, The Gift ofLoss, won 2nd Place for Best Autobiography at this year’s International Latino Book Awards in L.A Maria has her Masters in Latin American/Latino Studies from Fordham University and is the Diversity Initiatives Coordinator/Career Counselor in Career Services at Fordham University. Maria has been an Administrator and Staff member at Fordham University for the past nineteen years. In June 2014, Maria launched Latina 50 Plus a 501 (c)(3) non- profit dedicated to Latinas 50 and up who dedicated their lives to career fields in Arts, Community Service, Education, Healthcare/Medicine, Law and Literature. Since 2014, Latina 50 Plus has hosted networking events that included components in wellness and professional development. Latina 50 Plus also gives scholarships in Community Service and Education to Latinas 50 and up who have dedicated and continue to dedicate their services to the community, and for those that are currently pursuing degree or a professional development program. The highlight of Latina 50 Plus is the Latina 50 Plus Luncheon/Award Ceremony that honors a Latina 50 Plus in each of the career categories mentioned above. Maria is the Founder and President of Latina 50 Plus.
Awards: The New York League of Puerto Rican Women, Inc Special Recognition Award for Diversity Fordham University 2018 Honorary Madrina El Museo Del Barrio Three Kings 40th Parade Jan. 2017 The 9th Annual Taino Awards Guaitiao/Friendship Award for Community April 2017 Comite Noviembre Lo Mejor de Nuestra Communidad Oct. 2017 Bronx Times 25 Bronx Influential Women June 2016.
In 2010, Maria received the V-DAY Award for special recognition for her work with women in the arts from the Eve Ensler Foundation for “someone who has suffered or witnessed violence, and then does extraordinary work to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else in their community.