Maria  Smith Dautruche's profile photo

Maria Smith Dautruche

Founder and Principal, The Dopwell Group

Maria  Smith Dautruche's profile photo
Location: Bronx, NY
Start Year: 2023
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


Maria Dautruche (she/her) is the founder of the Dopwell Group LLC, the inaugural director of the Westchester Center for Racial Equity at the YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester, and manager of Race Forward’s H.E.A.L. Together (Honest Education Action & Leadership) initiative. Before taking on these roles, Maria was a senior advisor to the president and CEO of the National Urban League (NUL)—after time on staff at the national civil rights organization as a vice president. In addition to managing a portfolio of funding partnerships, Maria managed special projects at NUL, including the organization’s participation in the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative, 2020 census initiatives and COVID-19 Communities of Color Needs Assessment. 

Maria previously worked at the Smithsonian Institution, National Black Child Development Institute, New York Edge (formerly Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation) and Wave Hill. Maria is a trained Rx for Racial Healing circle facilitator, 2018 Independent Sector NGen Fellow and 2017 92Y Women in Power Fellow who has completed Yale School of Management’s Interpersonal Group Dynamics facilitator training. In 2004, Maria co-founded New Voices for Reproductive Justice—a powerful organizing force for the health and well-being of Black women and girls, women of color and LGBTQ+ people of color at the local, state (Pennsylvania and Ohio) and national levels. 

Future Focus

As advisor to the New York State Commission on African American History, Maria has introduced the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation framework to inform the Commission’s work. The Commission serves to highlight contributions by African-Americans to our country and to New York state and to promote a greater understanding of the history and achievements of African-Americans throughout the state. 

Separately, Maria is working with Adelphi University (Long Island, New York) as an advising program director for its Anti-Oppressive Leadership Fellows Program, which prepares groups of nonprofit leaders to positively impact their organization’s culture, practices and policies. Here, the TRHT framework can directly support leaders seeking to make change and pursue justice.


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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program