Hello and thank you for checking out my website…
When I think about who I am the first thing that comes to mind is that I am a child of God. My faith is huge to me…. But, explaining who I am???
Personally, I am a mother, a grandmother, a daughter, and a friend.
Professionally, I am a critical/convict/peacemaking criminologist, a teacher, an educator, and an aspiring activist for social justice.
I tend to be family and community oriented and I am also very passionate, loyal, and dedicated to those causes.
I started studying the criminal justice system because I had so much experience in the system and one of my very first professors convinced me it was where I needed to focus my work… Initially I was just trying to learn some things that would help me serve my community and even after all of these years this is still a central theme.
I grew up in the system and in the streets. I got locked up at an early age and spent my teenage years navigating my way through both the juvenile justice system and then the adult criminal justice system as well. I had a hard life growing up and it was really tough but it wasn’t impossible and with grace and mercy I was able to get through it… not getting stuck along the way and making it out alive…. I will always be extremely grateful for that fact.
Coming out from inside the system, I naturally fell into a critical criminology perspective. I have experienced things personally as well as witnessing the system at work in other’s lives that really left me no other choice. Yet, teaching criminal justice and examining numerous perspectives from students working in all areas of the system has only deepened an already in-depth understanding of the system from multiple angles and positions.
I am grateful for this gift of perspective and this provides me an opportunity to help others on multiple platforms. I have spent the last 20 years studying the criminal justice system, working in the community, attending graduate school, engaged in research and teaching at the university level. I am always thankful for the blessings that I have experienced during this process and I have an intense desire to give back.
I have focused my work on understanding and reducing violence among our youth, while promoting restorative justice and peacemaking processes along the way. I am passionate about educating students as well as getting back in the community and truly making a difference.
As I have gotten older I have realized that in life it seems I am always late no matter how hard I try and I tend to move slow despite my best intentions. However I have also learned not to give up, to keep going and to stay moving, despite how I feel, despite my weaknesses. In doing so I have realized the power of perseverance and what a precious gift it can be. When life gets tough and you want to give up – just decide to keep going instead. Remember that life is about the process, it is about progress not perfection, and perseverance provides the possibility of hope during this journey. And we ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS – have to Keep Hope Alive!!!