For more than two decades, I have been linking scholarship in religious studies with grassroots movements to end state violence and advance community healing. I honed my student-centered, practice-oriented pedagogy as the Co-Founder and Co-Instructor of TEACH Outside, a 400-student independent educational venture to address the barriers to information, support, and activism in communities most impacted by HIV and mass criminalization. Since, I have taught at Columbia University, New York University, Dartmouth College, and Florida State University.
Bringing the theories, methods, and pedagogies crafted by my movement-students into my academic classrooms transforms our space of learning. In my undergraduate classrooms, I bring the texts and traditions of movement thinkers (what I call “theory on the ground”) into conversation with scholarly works, thereby ensuring that my students have the space to reflect in an academic context on issues with which many are already engaged personally and politically. In my graduate classrooms, I use these issues as critical hermeneutics for reimagining theory and method in American religious history and in the field writ large.
My teaching portfolio includes courses in Prison Abolition; Religion in the South; Gender & Religion; Revolutionary Imagination; Collaborative Ethnography; and Scholarship in Practice. Below are a few examples of how I worked with students in my Religion on the Move course to critically engage and theorize the co-constitution of race, religion, and mobility throughout United States history by juxtaposing familiar migration stories and contemporary events.
I also recently published “The Ground on Which We Stand: Making Abolition” with five of my students, which centers our journey to create abolitionist futures in time at Florida State University and in our home communities.