Meet Mari Morrison Rodriguez
Advocate, mother, grandmother, career woman, and activist, Mari Morrison Rodriguez is a retiree from Rockland County Department of Mental Health and Social Services and is currently employed by BRIDGES. She raised four children, one of whom is on the Autistic Spectrum, and assisted this child with the creation of his idea: InnaVillage Productions, a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness and funding for mental health through the arts. InnaVillage’s mission is to engage youth, young adults and marginalized communities who struggle with discussions, stigma, or access to resources. InnaVillage hosts festivals and brings mental health and community resources on site. These events are attended by both Rocklanders and tourists alike. A portion of the events proceeds have been donated to NAMI, BRIDGES, Rockland Recovery Homes. InnaVillage is in the process of creating a scholarship for a Ramapo High School student pursuing a career in mental health or the arts. The organization is also working on providing free recording studio time for youth during spring break. InnaVillage provides opportunities for artists, volunteers, employment, sponsorships, partnerships and internships during their events.
InnaVillage was presented with the 2022 NY State Empire Award by Senator James Skoufis for innovation and contribution to community. Mari is a also a board member for the North Rockland Chamber of Commerce, a Rotarian, a former coach and board member for North Rockland Pop Warner, a Leadership Rockland graduate, and she ran for local office twice. InnaVillage’s long term goal is to create a Performing Arts Community Center with resources in house where people can explore their talents, discover career possibilities and receive hands on information and assistance accessing our county’s mental health and community resources. Mari presented this concept to the Haverstraw Downtown Revitalization Initiative committee, and while it didn’t get funded, it was one of the final projects on the table, and it has been recognized as a special project by NY state and the Village of Haverstraw. Mari and Team InnaVillage are continuing to work toward bringing this business to fruition and giving back to the community they are so grateful to belong to. Because….It takes a Village !