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I have a PhD in Global & Sociocultural Studies from Florida International University. As a human geographer by training, my research focuses on intersections of urban development, race, nature, and social-environmental justice.
For my dissertation research, I brought together historical, ethnographic, and geospatial methods to investigate how food environments in Miami's black communities are constituted over time in relation to racial projects of de jure segregation, midcentury urban renewal and sprawl, and contemporary gentrification. My findings revealed that despite the oppressive forces of Jim Crow during the first half of the twentieth century, in many ways Miami's tightly-knit African American and Afro-Caribbean communities had more control in self-determining their food environments and dietary practices. Converging processes of suburbanization, urban renewal, highway construction, mass immigration, and desegregation during the midcentury violently disrupted the sociospatial networks of black community food systems, while an increasingly industrializing food system channeled cheap, energy-dense foods into black neighborhood groceries, creating what some have called the "food desert". Finally, I show how black food traditions have ironically become a central component of current redevelopment efforts to create new upscale leisure destinations in historically black sections of Miami.
At SESYNC, under the mentorship of Morgan Grove, I am working with an interdisciplinary team to study the socio-ecological drivers and effects of urban segregation. Using Baltimore as a case study, the project will examine the organizational, spatial, and temporal forces that trap people into communities concentrated with poverty, toxicity, and health risks. In revealing how unjust and interacting processes maintain racial segregation and racially diverging life trajectories, the project also considers how we might begin to address segregation in public policy and urban planning.
|Forest ethnography: An approach to study the environmental history and political ecology of urban forests||
Feb 27, 2018
Article published in Urban Ecosystems.
|The Legacy Effect: Understanding How Segregation and Environmental Injustice Unfold over Time in Baltimore||
Oct 16, 2017
Article published in Annals of the American Association of Geographers.