Who I Am
In the fourth grade, my school held the Scholastic book fair, an event where students could purchase the books that were featured in the Scholastic Book Club. With money from my mom, I purchased the first book in The Babysitters Club series. The story of four girls starting their own business captivated me and started my lifelong love of reading. After reading Kristy's Great Idea, I convinced my mom to buy the subscription for the series, where every month the next three books in the series would be delivered to me. My love of reading eventually evolved into wanting to write stories, whether they were fiction or stories about topics that I cared about.
It's been a long and circuitous journey to my becoming a writer. Although my day job is in fundraising and I have also been organizing with community-based organizations, my passion is telling stories. Luckily, I have been able to use my writing and storytelling skills in my day job, where I tell the story of the impact a nonprofit has on the people it serves. I view my writing as a way to advocate for justice for marginalized communities and to center the experiences of Black women and girls. My site serves as a portfolio of my writing and a destination for my thoughts and musings on the subjects that I'm passionate about: social justice, books, writing, music, and food.
If you're an editor looking for writers to pitch you interviews, reviews, and essays, you're in the right place. Click the link below to contact me about paid writing opportunities.
I am an emerging freelance writer who has written interviews, reviews, news analysis and essays for Truthout, BK Magazine, The Feminist Wire, and Bitch Magazine. A combination of lived experience, organizing and education have inspired me to add my unique voice and perspective to public conversations in hopes of inspiring people to action. See my Bylines page for links to articles I have written.
Program Development and Organizer
I have five years of experience in grassroots organizing work & program development. As a former Leadership Team member of Girl Talk, I contributed to the establishment of the program at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Girl Talk provided girls who were incarcerated with an opportunity for bi-weekly recreation where they could just be teen girls, something they weren't able to do. We screened films, engaged in discussion about film themes, and did art projects. My responsibilities included recruiting, training, and managing volunteers, creating a film and art curriculum and communicating with detention center staff.
As a co-organizer of Love & Protect, we serve as a support committee for women, transgender and gender-nonconforming folks criminalized for defending themselves against violence. In addition to providing financial support and helping people access resources, we raise awareness of the intersection of domestic violence and incarceration, and host film screenings, panel discussions, and exhibits. Learn more about our work here: http://loveandprotect.org
I served on the Board of Directors of Project Fierce Chicago for three years, a grassroots organization seeking to provide transitional housing for homeless LGBTQ youth. During my tenure, I contributed to the establishment and growth of the organization in the areas of fundraising strategy, strategic planning, board structure, and staffing. Learn more about the organization here: www.projectfiercechicago.org
I have six years of experience in writing and submitting foundation, corporate and government grant proposals for nonprofit organizations. I have written general operating, capacity building and program grants in the areas of health care, domestic violence, housing, and adult education. My experience with grants management include maintaining a grants calendar, preparing boiler plate language for grant submissions, and working with program directors on contract compliance, program implementation, tracking outcomes, and reporting.
In addition to grant writing, I am experienced in planning small and large fundraisers, including soliciting sponsorships and auction items, managing volunteers, marketing, and managing event day logistics.
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