Maya Iwata has many intersectional identities and embraces many communities. Born in Virginia, but raised in New York in a feminist household, the principles of justice, human rights, and dignity connect the dots of her diverse life experiences and work in social justice as a queer, dyslexic, and mixed-generation Japanese-American. Maya’s intersectional racial justice lens is grounded in HIV/AIDS and harm reduction in the 90s, which paired structural change with holistic direct support. Maya has been in senior leadership at organizations such as Race Forward, Partners for Dignity & Rights, and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP).
Maya has decades of experience working to promote social justice and human rights through a world view of abundance towards collective liberation. As a grassroots philanthropist, she has helped form two giving circles, served on community foundation grants committees, and been a chapter co-chair of AAPIP. She has a B.A. in social psychology from Cornell University, an M.S. from Columbia University School of Social Work, and a Reiki Master.