Maria Chavez has worked with non-profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area for over thirty years. Her work is rooted in social justice and anti-oppression. She has worked as a direct service provider with survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault, delivered wound care services at needle exchange, and trained extensively in several areas of harm reduction. In 1998, she joined the Harm Reduction Coalition as the director of the California Office where she opened the west coast Harm Reduction Training Institute and was instrumental in bringing harm reduction to the city of San Francisco Department of Public Health. After a hiatus, she returned to Harm Reduction Coalition in 2013 as the National Conference Director. She is also an award-winning poet.