Maria T. Mangual (Townes, Heinz) (1944-20070 was a Chicago feminist and activist. Mrs. Mangual was born Maria Townes and after her first marriage was knownas Maria Heinz. After a divorce, she married Ricardo Mangual.
Raised in a Mexican-American family in El Paso, Texas, Mrs. Mangual came toChicago with her first husband in the early 1970s and took classes at theUniversity of Illinois at Chicago. She attended a Latina leadership conference in Indiana, and when she came back to Chicago, she organized a local conference called La Mujer Despierta, or The Awakening Woman. Out of that came Mujeres Latinas en Accion, which started as a drop-incenter for troubled girls and runaways in the Pilsen neighborhood but evolvedto provide services to women of all ages.
Mrs. Mangual lived in New Jersey for much of the 1980s. After returning to Chicago, she became involved with the Chicago Foundation for Women, serving as chairwoman of the group’s board from 1994 to 1996 and later as director ofdevelopment, leading fundraising efforts.
In addition to serving on the board, Mrs. Mangual was active with the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Latina Leadership Council. Separately, she worked with Semillas, a women’s organization in Mexico that she helped withfundraising.
“She was an advocate of women’s rights and social justice issues,” said Aida Giacello, an associate professor at UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work and founder and director of the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training and Policy Center. “She had that clear vision about what were the problems,and what were the solutions.”
Community Organizing and Family Issues is a Chicago based non-profit. COFI Sponsoring Committee -1994-95 members included Pastor Alvin Bergh, Lina Cramer, Barbara Engel, Jacky Grimshaw, Anne Hallett, Judy Hertz, Maria Mangual, Della Mitchell, Barack Obama, Elce Redmond, Amanda Rivera, Mary Scott-Boria, John Schmidt, Coretta McFerron, Kaye Wilson, Ellen Schumer, Founding Director and President, Nancy Aardema, Founding Vice-President, Sandra O’Donnell, Founding Vice-President.