What have you been up to since graduation?
My career lies at the intersection of education, politics, and grassrootsmovements for social change. After several years as a social studies teacher atUniversity Prep High School in Detroit, I moved to the DC area to pursue aPh.D. at the University of Maryland. While writing my dissertation aboutpresidents’ executive orders, I taught classes on public policy and Congress. Ialso began a career in electoral data within the progressive movement, firstsupporting strong public schools with the National Education Association andnow at an organization focused on building the power of low-income people ofcolor. At the same time, I’ve built upon my academic interests with continuedresearch, conference presentations, and undergraduate teaching.
I’ve also had the privilege of spending the last 11 years with my wife, AmandaHooper, also an MCSP alum who I met in Couzens Hall in 2003. We love totravel, spend time with our friends (many of whom are MCSP alumni), and relaxin our hammocks in the park across the street from our apartment in DC.
What are you currently doing now?
I am the Electoral Data Manager at Community Change Action, a non-profitorganization dedicated to building the power of low-income people of color tochange their communities and public policies for the better. My work helps buildsuccessful electoral programs through voter registration, education, andmobilization around key issues like immigration reform, affordable childcare,and economic justice.
For the past few years, I’ve also taught a seminar on the American presidencyas a visiting professor at the University of California’s DC program. I’m gratefulfor the opportunity to continue teaching and mentoring undergraduate students,as well as to further my academic research pursuits and contribute to the university community.
How do you integrate social justice into your life post college?
Social justice is a core value in my personal and professional life. In my currentjob, our mission is to ensure that people in marginalized communities canachieve change and thrive. We register voters and expand civic participationcentered on issues like immigration reform, water equity, affordable childcareand housing, and more. Every day, I get to work with colleagues and partnerswho fight for the communities most impacted by injustice.
What is your favorite memory about MCSP?
MCSP was my home away from home, which was especially important for mewhen entering Michigan as a first-generation college student. One of myfavorite memories is from my second year in MCSP, when a friend organized avideo scavenger hunt of campus. We were supposed to take an hour of quickfootage at notable spots around campus to compile into a 1-2 minute video.Instead, we lost ourselves in an entire afternoon acting like dinosaurs in front ofthe Natural History Museum, “swimming” around the Fishbowl, and chasingsquirrels on the Diag before turning our adventures into an 8 minutemasterpiece. Being back on campus for MCSP anniversary events, I could stillremember different shots from that video 15 years later.