I have extensive experience advocating for rural people and places, directing complex social impact projects, and facilitating place-based strategies that result in strong, healthy, and powerful communities. My open and honest communication style enables me to build trusting relationships and alliances across nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, businesses, and grassroots organizations. Most importantly, my core values guide my work and are rooted in the deep belief in local people to lead and drive fundamental change within their own communities. I received the 2018 CoThinkk Community Ally Award which honors community leaders who diligently strive to advance communities of color in Asheville and Western North Carolina.
As a dreamer and movement builder at Equitable Community Strategies, I support community projects across the region on topics related to health equity, adverse childhood experiences, food insecurity, substance misuse, the social determinants of health, and clinical/community partnerships. Clients include: West Marion Community Forum, Inc., Watauga Compassionate Community Initiative, Yancey County Foodshed Project, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the Appalachia Funders Network. I have a Master of Arts in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity from the University of Essex in England and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. My love for travel, people, and culture has led me to value and learn from diverse movements for equity across Europe, Asia, and South America. These experiences heightened my awareness of global challenges and highlighted all the beautiful solutions that people are working towards to create a more just and inclusive world.
Publications: “Addressing Health Disparities in the Appalachian Region of the United States: The Role of Grassroots Voices in Pursuing Social Justice,” accepted for presentation at the 2021 International Society for Social Justice Research. “What You Resist Will Persist: Power Moves Across the Southeast and Appalachia,” published in 2020 by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. “Shift Happens in Community: A Toolkit to Build Power and Ignite Change,” published in 2020.