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About Me

I am a cultural geographer of race and representation. As someone who grew up living in a variety of different places – Hawai'i, Indiana, Oklahoma and Chicago – I’ve long been interested in the relationship between race and a sense of place. As such, my work operates at the interface between the racialization, narrativization and experience of place, and the way this produces material effects in urban and community development projects. My forthcoming manuscript looks at how a racialized feeling of place is leveraged by Black community organizers to reclaim space in the gentrifying cultural landscapes of Oakland, California. Ongoing and future projects seek to unsettle the binary treatment of Northern and Southern racial geographies in the United States by examining the poetics and political economy particular to the Black Geographies of the US West. 

I received my PhD in Human Geography from the University of California, Berkeley in August, 2021. As a graduate student, I co-organized the 2017 & 2020 Berkeley Black Geographies Symposia, work that I consider formative in my orientation as a Black Geographic scholar. Between 2021-2023, I was a Provost Early Career Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Geography and the Environment, where I was part of the Feminist Geography Collective. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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photo by alexx temeña
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