Mari continues to work within a police department in Southern California for 17 years. She has had multiple roles in different communities and environments within the department. As a result of these experiences she has a desire to shift the culture of policing toward becoming more inclusive, with greater demographic variety and intellectual diversity. Mari’s passion for issues surrounding diversity and inclusion led her to earn a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University. Her personal and professional experiences provided the impetus for her dissertation topic: “Being Brown on the Thin Blue Line: A Narrative Inquiry of the Lived Experiences of Latinas Within the Institution of Policing.”
This research demonstrated the cultural capital this population brings to policing as these women dedicate themselves to serving faithfully and bridging across cultures, classes and geographies to find common ground. In their journey toward legitimacy, Mari’s research captured the qualitative richness of their lives while providing scholarly rigor and discipline. These findings suggest ways that the institution of policing can become more equitable and how it can best serve the increasingly diverse society in which we live.
Mari has a M.A. in Criminal Justice from Chapman University, M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems and Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She enjoys surfing and playing with her niece in Hawaii.