Marissa is a graduate of the University of Southern California in Political Science and International Relations. She received her Masters in Public Administration in Non-Profit Management and Public Policy, with an international specialization, at the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University. She recently received her Masters in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, focusing on Arts in Education.
Marissa brings significant experience working on the ground and around the world: she investigated human rights abuses and worked on a documentary film in Mexico City; conducted human rights research in New Delhi, India; and volunteered for a women's rights non-profit in San Andres Iztapa, Guatemala. Domestically, Marissa has planned and organized service-learning trips, led art workshops, coordinated events with youth leaders, and worked with community organizers to address violations of human rights globally and throughout New York City.
As an artist and activist, Marissa views art as a tool for social change, especially to empower and engage young people in bringing awareness to the human rights issues that are most important to them. Marissa is currently the Founder and Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE), an organization that uses public art, design, and technology to empower young people to develop creative solutions and bring awareness to local and global human rights challenges, specifically through volunteer hip-hop mural projects, fostering leadership opportunities to train others.