My dissertation "Unraveling the Geographies of the US Public Education System: an analysis of scale, segregation, and hegemony" traces the history of public education in the United States to understand the system's architecture and how it works to reproduce social inequities. For example, the federal and state departments of education base their policies on an understanding of local control that assumes that each school district has the power to govern the schools within their district. I demonstrate that local control is not a right given to every community, but a form of fiscal and political power that is influenced by this country's history and geography.
Mapping and GIS
When I was working as the Housing Project Coordinator for ERASE Racism between 2010-2013, I saw firsthand the power of maps to identify and address critical social issues, such as school segregation and housing discrimination. When I started my Ph.D. program in geography in 2013, I knew I wanted to learn mapping and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to strengthen both my activism and research. Since then I earned an advanced GIS certificate that included seven semesters of theory and technical classes. I then went on to teach GIS and mapping workshops for three years as a GCDI Digital Fellow. As a research consultant, I've made maps for organizations, such as ERASE Racism, the COVID Prison Project, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), and the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project.
During my undergraduate studies, I took an internship with Jobs with Justice (JwJ) and quickly learned that radical social change is dependent on everyday people coming together to identify what's wrong with society and mobilize towards a common humanity where everyone can live a dignified life. Since then I've had the privilege to work with and learn from many community-based organizations, most especially STRONG Youth, where I've served as a board member for six years. My community organizing work has broadly focused on Black and Indigenous liberation, housing justice, PIC abolition, socialism and anti-imperialism, and radical feminism.
The great Angela Davis famously said that "Radical simply means grasping things at the roots." Political education is a form of radical study that allows us to more accurately interpret our social conditions so that we can more effectively change them. Political education has been a core part of my work as I've tried to bring the gap between academia and activism. Throughout the past five years, I've helped to organize several radical study groups, including STRONG Youth's Freedom School, Invest/Divest Long Island--an abolitionist working group, and study sessions with Peoples' Anti-Colonial Press.