I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College and the co-founder and associate director of Front Porch Research Strategy in New Orleans. I earned my Ph.D. in North American Religions from Columbia University and my masters in Islamic Studies from Harvard Divinity School.
As an interdisciplinary scholar of race, religion, and social movements, I study the histories of struggle that fill our present and ask how practitioners use religion to organize and transform our world. My research and teaching take shape through and are sustained by my twenty years of work in our nation’s movements to end AIDS and prisons. I co-founded TEACH Outside, Prison Health News, and the Institute for Community Justice, as well as the national Religion and Incarceration activist/academic forum. Currently, I serve as a Board Member to Women With A Vision in New Orleans, Men & Women In Prison Ministries in Chicago, and Reconstruction Inc. in Philadelphia.
This blended path, of activism and learning, has influenced both the subject matter and the approach to my scholarly work. With my activist interlocutors and research partners, I have undertaken fieldwork to understand and intervene at the intersections of religion, race, and gender, with particular attention to mass criminalization, HIV/AIDS, state violence, and land dispossession. This research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. My most recent writings have appeared in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (2018) and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society (2017).