Policy & Practice

  • SUPPORTING VICTIMS: I am an advocate for the prevention of domestic violence. I have completed over 30 hours of participant observation in domestic violence crisis centers and shelters.  I trained for several months to complete the 2017 NYC Marathon and raise awareness about domestic violence. I raised over $3,000 to support shelters and transitional housing for abuse victims and children (many of whom are also abuse victims) with the Center Against Domestic Violence. While domestic violence impacts families nationwide, persons who have limited financial resources or family support and who are African American are more likely to be victimized. My developing research explores mechanisms in which the United States Family Court System acts to reverberate race, class, and gender disparities found more broadly in American life and how these structural mechanisms marginalize victims, spur downward mobility, and frequently force victims into bankruptcy and homelessness when trying to exit abusive partnerships. This research helps to explain why abuse victims repeatedly return to their abuser and informs avenues for court reform and policies to help prevent the cycle of abuse.
  • SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: I was elected and have served two years on the Board of Directors of a locally based not-for-profit organization, the Ann Arbor Track Club. With this role, I have sought to increase the diversity of our organization, including the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups. The Club serves the greater Detroit area, providing athletic training, events and community service with approximately 100 youth and 200 adult members every year. Our premiere event, the Dexter Ann Arbor Run serves over 5,000 runners and raises $20,000 for local charities. We also provide funding support and transportation for youth athletes who otherwise could not participate.
  • SUPPORTING FIRST GENS: I am the first generation in my family to attend college. I worked full-time supporting myself as a waitress and bartender and part-time as a substitute teacher while attending college full-time to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in four years. I advocate for the recruitment and retention of first generation students, many of whom face multiple barriers to success. The University of Michigan hosts the country’s inaugural First Generation Student Organization. First generation students are more likely to be female, minority, and come from low-income backgrounds. First generation students are at greater risk of dropping out, not graduating in four-years, and even at higher risk for suicide, relative to peers who had parent(s) who finished college. I advocate for supportive services, mentorships, and the use of quantitative and qualitative research at the university level, such as surveys and focus groups, to improve the outcomes for first generation students.