Division Director, Social ServicesCompany: Ramsey County
Role: Session Presenter
2022 Conference Session:
The Role of White-Bodied Leaders in DEI
Maria Sarabia oversees the Division of Aging & Disability Services in the Social Services Department at Ramsey County. She served as Ramsey County’s first Health Equity officer at the Saint Paul–Ramsey County Public Health Department; she led racial and health equity work across the County enterprise; and has led diversity, inclusion, and organizational development efforts with human resources.
She leads social service programming and operations with the lens of deconstructing organizational barriers to achieve better outcomes for Black and Brown communities and people who have disabilities. Her focus is to advance racial and health equity by centering our humanness. Maria’s work includes building connections with senior and executive leaders to spark introspective reflection with the aim to lead by being in relationship and powering down to connect to the wisdom of community and experience of the workforce.
Maria has worked as a public servant in various levels of government for the past 10 years, having overseen policy development and programming in Medicaid eligibility, public health, and civil rights. She began her career as a social services practitioner focused on wrap-around service, workforce development, and positive youth development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in inner cities studies from Northeastern Illinois University and a master’s in social service administration from the University of Chicago.