Elisa Meza, EdD, ASW
Elisa Meza (she/her/ella) is a Brown and proud Xicanx “Mexi-Pina,” cisgender Woman of Color born in Brawley, California and raised in Tucson, Arizona on occupied Tohono O’odham Indigenous lands. Elisa is the daughter of Marcy Esperanza Nigos Meza and Benjamin Encinas Meza with ancestral roots in the Philippines, the Sonoran Desert, Imperial Valley, and Mazatlán, Mexico. As the youngest of four, Elisa is an energetic-introverted-kinesthetic learner who loves to engage with others through dialogue, hence her father’s nickname for her, “the chatterbox.” Elisa engages in the world through cycling, yoga, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, reading, drawing, writing, dreaming, and disrupting generational cycles of trauma through healing. She really loves dessert, live funk music, Led Zeppelin, Earth Wind & Fire, coffee, and the summer season.
After experiencing the public education system and receiving her bachelor’s in English and Mexican American Studies, Master’s in Social Welfare and Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Elisa believes that healing starts with unlearning so much of what we learn through schooling and embracing our cultural knowledge. After spending nine years in direct service as a school social worker and mental health practitioner, Elisa recognizes that healing involves decolonizing self-care, mental health, and wellness, which have been historically inaccessible to our communities due to capitalism, patriarchy, and oppression. This is why Elisa believes in Healing Centered Engagement; it is a community built for us, by us, provided by those who believe we all belong and deserve healing.