Born in Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico, she was raised in Indio, CA, but has dedicated the last 25 years living, learning, and teaching in Los Angeles, CA. She is a first-generation academic scholar, holding four degrees from UCLA, including a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in race and ethnic studies. While she continues to teach at various universities, she served as Dean of Institutional Effectiveness at the community college level, expanding her knowledge on the lack of equity-driven efforts in this sector. Dr. Rivas holds over a decade of federal compliance and nonprofit executive leadership experience, having led efforts securing over $500 million dollars to the greater Los Angeles region. Dr. Rivas is a critical race theorist and Chicana epistemic methodologist; she addresses white supremacy, systemic oppression, and the resilience of marginalized folks as we, collectively, decolonize our practices to hone into our intuitive and ancestral knowledge. She is a spoken-word theorist and poet, unapologetically speaking truth to power as a link towards our collective liberation.