I'm a geographer, urban planner, union organizer, contra dance caller, dancer, critical thinker, cyclist, southerner-turned-midwesterner, worrier, gender weirdo, and cat lover. I spent the first half of my life in Memphis, TN, and the second half (so far) in Chicago, IL.
I have experience working in local government, the private sector, and the nonprofit world, doing work related to economic and community development, cooperatives, and geospatial technologies. After completing my BA in urban geography at DePaul University, I worked for several years in an economic development consulting firm in Chicago, where I learned first-hand about the economic and political constraints cities face in trying to improve the built environment and create economic opportunities for urban populations. Those challenges pose seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieving community visions for social and economic justice. After 5 years, I returned to academia to study these problems more intensively. I completed an MA in geography at the University of Kentucky, and am now working on my PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I do research on transparency and accountability in urban governance.