Maria Elena Terrazas

Trauma Support Manager

Maria Elena (Nena) Terrazas (she/her/ella) joined Common Justice in 2023 as a Trauma Support Manager. Prior to joining Common Justice, Maria Elena worked as a Program and Legal Assistant for an organization serving the legal needs of survivors of intimate partner violence in the areas of family, matrimonial, and immigrant law. In this role, she assisted participants in preparing their legal cases and linked them to vital social services. She also worked collaboratively to integrate trauma-informed care models and restorative justice principles into the workplace providing the needed space and support for staff and community members to be served and cared for.  


Maria Elena earned her BA from the University of California Santa Cruz double majoring in Community Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies. Her studies focused on gender discrimination in immigration law and outcomes, human rights, cultural memory, queer studies, and feminism. She started her career working on asylum cases for Trans Latinas who relocated to the Bay Area. In this role, she focused on relationship building, creating a space where her participants felt comfortable and safe to share their experiences and needs.


Maria Elena’s work centers around creating meaningful intentional space for those marginalized to be heard and served. She believes in revolution through collective healing. In her free time, she volunteers with the queer immigrant rights group, and her local soup kitchen. She enjoys reading, painting, music, writing, spending time in nature, and yoga.

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