My professional dossier reflects over a decade of experience teaching, researching, and serving as a champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), social justice, and institutional equity and reform. As a forward-thinking diversity professional, I have enjoyed a broad career helping individuals, organizations, and corporate networks expand the capabilities of their organization and develop company-wide DEI initiatives, programs, and partnerships. My portfolio of clients includes academic institutions, non-profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Diversity Committees (advisory and ad hoc), mid-level managers, C-Suite leaders, and other diversity professionals.
I specialize in race and identity formation with a particular emphasis on transnational conceptions of Blackness, decolonial feminist politics (Afro-Feminism), theories of the African Diaspora, and anti-racist social justice. My research has been vital to the development of a relatively new subdiscipline of philosophy – the Critical Philosophy of Race – that endeavors to find new ways of approaching questions of race/racism and diversity. In 2014 I pivoted my research from a focus on how race functions within Black and Brown communities in the U.S. to understanding racism as a global phenomenon and performing intersectional analyses of race and gender outside of the U.S. context. I am part of a variety of international associations and networks that bring together various scholars and practitioners to exchange ideas and best practices. These types of transcontinental partnerships are important for my research and for the work I do as a diversity practitioner. This scholar-educator-practitioner model reinforces the role of academics in the development of DEIB practices and interventions.
I have taught courses at Walker Mill Middle School, Philadelphia Futures, the University of Memphis, Penn State University, Prince George’s Community College, and West Chester University, I have the requisite experience interacting with students and youth of varying socioeconomic, cultural, and academic backgrounds in a classroom environment. My time in the classroom has given me experience discussing racism, queer antagonism, feminism and xenophobia as educational, cultural and social issues. It has also forced me to think seriously about how students/youth are impacted by their identities, formulate student-centered programs on race and identity formation, and cater my discussions of self-identity to individual experiences as well as the broader University community, inspiring campus involvement and civic engagement. My classroom and office have always served as a place of refuge for my students who express feelings of marginalization and isolation on campus. And because of the challenges I have faced as a Black-woman-philosopher in academia, I have a very unique insight into the barriers to education and capacity development that many minority students face and have helped them circumnavigate their college and career decisions. Outside of strengthening their critical thinking capacities, my pride as an educator has been the mentorship and support I provide to my students in every aspect of their collegiate careers.
I decided to transition out of academia and pursue DEI fulltime out of a need to more directly be involved in the practical application of the critical theories I had been developing. Since then, my work sits at the intersection of DEIB and People Management. For the past seven years, my job has been to strategize, problem solve, critically analyze, synthesize information, build cross-departmental coalitions, create educational tools, support employee and student affinity groups, and create new interventions to meet the people and culture challenges in an organization. I am typically brought into organizations who are at the beginning stages of their DEI journey to diagnose the organizational culture, gauge the community’s diversity appetite for change, facilitate difficult conversations, and lead implementation efforts across teams and departments. Many of the organizations I have worked with did not have a clear vision of the type of organization they wanted to become (i.e., a comprehensive theory of change). I had to create the commitments and galvanize the internal community -- from the Board to contributing staff -- to embrace the recommended system changes and revitalize the organizational culture.