What I do

I utilize community-engaged practices to examine policies that lead to neighborhood displacement and gentrification and how these policies impact the well-being of Latinas/os/x.


Community organizing, public policy, social justice, and Latina/o/x perspectives

Professional Biography

Dr. Gutiérrez is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholars national leadership program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Her interest in community-based methodologies stems from a decade of post-social work experience, which has informed her practical expertise in child welfare, Veterans' health, criminal justice, health promotion, and Washington, DC-based policy advocacy.

As a faculty invitee at DU, she is affiliated with:
- Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality (IRISE)
- Latinx Center
- Center for Community Engagement to Advance Scholarship and Learning (CCESL)
- Center for Immigration Policy & Research (CIPR)

Dr. Gutiérrez is the Southwest Representative for the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) and a member of the following interdisciplinary organizations:
- Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
- Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS)
- Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AHHE)
- American Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS)


  • BA, Chicano Studies, Minor Industrial Design, San Francisco State University
  • MSW, Planning, Administration and Community Practice, Arizona State University
  • Ph.D., Social Work, Arizona State University

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Lean Six-Sigma Green Belt Certificate

Media Sources


My research is centered on qualitative methodologies, including photovoice, testimonios, counter-storytelling, and critical ethnography. My current projects:

Mapeando Mi Communidad/ Mapping My Community is a pilot research study designed to investigate how the Latina/o community in Denver, Colorado, perceives the borders of their neighborhood compared to official municipal maps. Given the limited literature on low-income Latina/o neighborhoods, the goal of the proposed pilot study is to provide a framework to elevate the lived experience, perceptions, and voices of Latinas/os in Denver by conducting the mapping exercise alongside residents to explore their sense of place and mobility. Additional goals include an interactive learning experience for students with skills they can utilize as social work practitioners.

The Valverde Storytelling Tour is a student-led and community-based pilot research project, with the primary goal of understanding whether participation in a place-based storytelling tour in Denver’s Valverde Neighborhood increases a sense of community awareness and motivation to address environmental impacts caused by redlining.

Areas of Research

community organizing
public policy
social justice
Latina/o/x perspectives

Featured Publications

Gutierrez, M. (2023). Contested places: A typology for responding to place-based harms. Journal of Social Work.
Mitchell, F., Lechuga-Peña, S., Poola, C., & Gutierrez, M. (2021). Incorporating photovoice into a community-based intervention: Practice implications from Your Family, Your Neighborhood. Advances in Social Work, 21(4).
Cassinat, R. A., Bruening, M., Crespo, N. C., & Gutierrez, M. (2020). Effects of a community-based pilot intervention on home food availability among U.S. households. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(4).
Aguilar-Amaya, M., & Gutierrez, M. (2019). Implementing compassion fatigue prevention for lay employees conducting naloxone training: An example from rural Arizona. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 19(3).
Zhu, W., Gutierrez, M., Toledo, M. J., Mullane, S., Stella, A. P., Diemar, R., et al. (2018). Long-term effects of sit-stand workstations on workplace sitting: A natural experiment. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 21(8).
Buman, M. P., Epstein, D. R., & Gutierrez, M. (2016). BeWell24: development and process evaluation of a smartphone "app" to improve sleep, sedentary, and active behaviors in US Veterans with increased metabolic risk. Translational behavioral medicine, 6(3).


Gutierrez, M. (2023). Commencement Speaker for GSSW Graduation Ceremony. MSW Virtual Graduation Ceremony. Denver, Colorado: Graduate School of Social Work.
Gutierrez, M. (2023). Keynote Speaker: Ni De Aqui, Ni De Alla: Exploring border spaces by centering Critical Race Theory and LatCrit in Social Work Praxis. Latino Social Workers Organization. Portland, Oregon: Portland State University School of Social Work.
Gutierrez, M. (2022). Act Locally Think Globally: The Link Between Critical Race Theory and Human Rights. Anaheim, CA: Council on Social Work Education Annual Meeting.


  • Health Policy Research Scholars, Robert Wood Johnson
  • Doctoral Fellow Award, Society for Social Work