Where are you currently working and what is your job title? ACLU of Kansas, Legal Director
What was your graduation year? December 2005
What were your majors/minors? Psychology (BA) with Minor in Crime and Justice in the RC
What activities were you involved in while a student, both within the RC and elsewhere on campus? PCAP, Project Outreach
What are some highlights of your career - or side projects - that you’re most proud of? Conducting big investigations of police departments for patterns and practices of constitutional violations against community members; arguing important civil rights cases in federal court. And in June, the first three of our clients were granted clemency by the governor and freed from prison - we had filed 108 clemency petitions over the last year and this was our first major victory. I am also an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas Law School and School of Public Affairs and Administration -- I love teaching and being able to influence future generations of social justice advocates, much like my RC professors influenced me.
What are you doing lately that you’re passionate about? Working with coalitions across the state to enhance LGBTQ+ rights under state and federal law; fight against voter suppression; and protect reproductive rights by fighting a ballot initiative that will be up for a vote next August.
What about it makes you so passionate? I am fighting every day to protect peoples' civil rights, to advocate for their humanity and dignity, and to make my state a better place for my kids and my community.
How has the RC supplemented your U-M/post-grad experience? It gave me a foundation in activism and questioning the status quo. The RC courses inspire curiosity about the world around you and encourage you to continue pushing for justice and change.
If you could have dinner with anyone, fictional or real, dead or alive, who would it be and why? My mother in law, who passed away four and a half years ago from an aggressive form of brain cancer. She was endlessly supportive of my career (just as my own parents are), and always wanted to talk about what I was up to at work and what I was fighting for. I'd love to be able to tell her what I am doing these days and benefit from her genuine warmth and encouragement at the start of a new project or case.
What is your idea of the perfect day? What would you do? Spending as much time outdoors as possible -- gardening, hiking, doing something on the water. And of course, having some sort of adventure with my two kids and my partner, ending the day by eating delicious food!