In this time of simultaneous whole system, multi-system transformation we are called to vulnerability and courage in all facets of our lives if we are to skillfully and effectively resist that which harms us and reimagine the world that we actually want.
I am a native Texan with ancestral roots throughout the South, though I wouldn't have always claimed this identity. I actually grew up believing the South was a backwards place to be escaped. After nearly a decade of living and working in Washington, DC and Southeast Asia my perspective shifted and I could see more clearly that the South is home to some of the United States’ most intractable and harmful systems, as well as its deepest roots of creative healing and resistance. Six years ago I felt called to return to the South. In that time I have developed relationships with an ever-widening ecosystem of Southern change makers, joining our energy, skills, and wisdom to contribute to the long history of Southerns doing incredible and oftentimes seemingly impossible liberation work. Reconnecting to my Southern heritage has also been integral to my anti-racist journey, helping me to see more clearly who I am, who and where I come from, and what I am called to tend and heal in my lifetime. These days I am living off the grid at Wild Hydrangea, an intentional community in northern Alabama, on the ancestral land of the Cherokee, Shawnee, and Yuchi. Here I am learning and practicing the arts of community, patience, sharing, emergence, and avoiding poison ivy.
Over the past ten years I have facilitated & collaborated on social change processes in a variety of settings - from political education & organizing, to anti-racism culture shift, to community food systems activation & network weaving. Time and again I have felt frustrated that we are not making the gains that we want and need to make in order to address the root causes of the increasingly severe and complex challenges that we collectively seek to solve. These days I understand that our own fears and ambivalence about change get in the way of doing what is most deeply needed. Our individual and collective posture towards change is deeply influenced and compounded by white supremacy culture, mental models of domination, and our collective socialization into competition and individualism. In this time of simultaneous whole system, multi-system transformation we are called to vulnerability and courage in all facets of our lives if we are to skillfully and effectively resist that which harms us and reimagine the world that we actually want.
I operate from a healing-informed, anti-oppression framework and am committed to living an authentic, undivided life, weaving together personal transformation & collective liberation in my personal life and professional work. I understand my spiritual practice and inner work as integral to my commitments to and practices of deep equity and systems change. Mark Leach at Change Elemental breaks it down, “Equitable Systems Change is not effective or sustainable without the compassion, resilience, healing from trauma, and ability to confront one’s own denial, guilt, anger, fragility, etc. that inner work makes possible.” I have been shaped by the wisdom of many teachers over the course of my life, and want to make explicit that my analysis of deep equity has been directly informed by Black teachers including but not limited to adrienne maree brown, Reverend angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, bell hooks, Alicia Garza, Resmaa Menakem, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Sheryl Petty as well as a lineage of white, anti-racist leaders that includes Myles Horton, Anne Braden, and Jen Willsea. My commitment to living a life undivided has been deeply nurtured by wisdom bearers Parker Palmer, Tara Brach, and Joanna Macy.