What courses are you teaching?
I am currently teaching SOC1051: Sociology.
How have your interests, research, or experience led you to your field?
My professional area of focus is largely centered in the exploration of educational equity for BIPOC students. As a Sociology undergraduate major, I researched and applied sociological concepts and principles to the exploration of educational tracking and its impact on achievement for Black students. While completing graduate studies at Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, I collaborated on a community-based project that assessed unequitable educational opportunities embedded within a prestigious high school that was based on race. From this experience, I began dissecting the No Child Left Behind Act, exploring the connection between social determinants of health (i.e., health care, food, schools, housing, racism, etc.) on early childhood educational systems, as well as long term educational options for children of color.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the daily work I do with Communities In Schools of Michigan. I am the Senior Director of Learning and Innovation. Within this capacity, I lead all of our organizational work around Anti-racism and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We have centered this work in issues related to educational equity and health access to support our mission of surrounding students with a community of support to empower to succeed in school and achieve in life. Through my work, I have been asked to train up and provoke shared mobilization for several external partners looking to enter this work. I have facilitated conversations with school districts that are struggling in the areas of educational equity.
What is one interesting fact about you?
Outside of being married for 15 years to a fellow Social Worker (we share the same undergraduate and graduate degrees), we have two "crazy kids" and a three-year-old dog, Sally-Ally Jane that has way too much attitude for her own good. In addition, I have begun practicing yoga as a method to center my racial justice work.
Name one exciting thing that is happening in your classroom.
Although my course is delivered online, I incorporate documentaries in order to operationalize sociological concepts and conversation. The two that I've used–"Unspoken" and "Slavery By Another Name"–speak truth to the shared histories of Black Americans and Indigenous populations (through boarding school) that is left out of history books especially when confronting what it means to be American in the United States.
Share your favorite quote for Black History Month.
"Lifting as we climb." -Mary Church Terrell
List of recent publications and other accomplishments (2019 - 2021):
In November 2020, I was elected to serve as a Lakeview School District School Board Trustee. Additionally, I am a member of the Organizational Health workgroup that is part of the National Communities In School's steering committee.