I’m a legal and policy advocate, writer and community organizer working to protect civil rights, ensure access to justice, and address income and wealth inequality.
Currently, I am a paralegal at ACLU’s Voting Rights Project where I protect the right to vote and fight back against targeted voter suppression of people of color, people on public assistance, disabled people, and formerly and currently incarcerated people. I also serve on the Montgomery County Committee Against Hate/Violence which works to eradicate acts of hate and intimidation through community education, advocacy, collaboration, and legislation. My writing on these topics has been published in The Washington Post, The Mobile Press-Register, The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and The Montgomery Advertiser.
Born and raised in a working-class family in Mobile, Alabama, I was the first person in my family to go to college and one of the few to graduate from high school. A non-traditional student, I earned my GED at 20, graduated summa cum laude from Coastal Alabama Community College with my A.A.S. in Paralegal Studies, and received a full scholarship to transfer to Georgetown University where I graduated with my B.A. in Government.
At Georgetown, I studied American history, government, politics and law, and did a senior independent research project on criminal disenfranchisement laws and institutional racism in the United States. I also did internships at the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs. In my junior year, I was one of 59 students awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a competitive federal scholarship for college students planning to go to graduate school and pursue careers in public service.
When I was in community college, I founded my own nonprofit organization, Mobile Equality, dedicated to advocating for the local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) community. Our organization campaigned for a city ordinance protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination and amending the state’s hate crime law to cover crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. I interned for Legal Services Alabama, providing free legal assistance to low-income clients, and the South Alabama Center for Fair Housing, guaranteeing equal access to fair housing, credit and lending opportunities. I also served on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Alabama where I had the distinction of being the youngest person nominated and elected to the board.
During this time, I was also a youth advocate for the separation of church and state, religious freedom, and the civil rights of atheists, agnostics, and humanists. I was a legal and public policy intern at American Atheists and a PAC and legislative intern at the Center for Freethought Equality. I also served served on the Youth Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. In recognition of my secular advocacy, I received national awards and was invited to present at national conferences.
I live in Silver Spring, Maryland with my fiancé Peter and our cat Jack. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the DC metro area, gardening, reading, watching movies and playing video games. I’m a horror, sci-fi and true crime buff.