As a graduate of the Institute of the Liberal Arts at Emory University, I recently completed a dissertation entitled, Precious Opportunities: Black Girl Stories and Resistance Pedagogies as Critical Race Feminist Responses to the Childhood Obesity Epidemic. My research interests are feminist body studies, critical race studies, and media literacy related to health education and healthy body narratives for youth. For my dissertation research, I developed Camp Carrot Seed, a summer camp, for middle and high school youth in order to examine their food decision-making over time. I employed participatory action research working directly with teenagers to observe their eating habits and to determine accessible foods and natural resources in their communities. The eight-week camp centered on four core pedagogic projects: organic gardening, food shopping and preparation, and local environmental stewardship activities as Critical Race Organizing Projects (CROPs) intended to provide culturally relevant and age-appropriate interventions for public health concerns regarding youth.
As an engaged scholar my work beyond the academy has included workshops on healthy food choices with childcare providers as well as elementary and middle school youth. As a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, I continue to collaborate with a network of environmentalists working in west Atlanta to mobilize youth engagement with environmental projects. I also work with the HEALing Community Center to bridge gaps between community health and environmental activism.
Prior to coming to the academy I was a grievance and arbitrations coordinator and union representative in the labor movement in Washington, DC. I have a Master’s Degree from OSU in Women’s Studies and I worked in South Africa and the US with international women’s organizations. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I am a proud graduate of Spelman College, class of 1997. I am a change agent and my current arena is the classroom. I am a teacher. I teach to provide a space for young people to consider issues that they may not normally discuss collectively and to encourage them to interact with people they perceive to be different from themselves. I always hope that the experience I create in the classroom provokes reflection and critical assessment of personal views and political decisions.