Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, I developed a passion for equity in design at a young age. This passion led me to Tuskegee University, where I earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Tuskegee’s focus on culturally inclusive architecture and social problems inspired me to pursue a career in planning. I enrolled in the Master of Community Planning program at Auburn University. Upon graduating, I began my career at Duvall Decker Architects P. A. as an associate designer and community planner.
For nearly five years, I led complex planning processes in urban and rural communities, both characterized by severe poverty and long histories of oppression. These communities often displayed visceral reactions to spatial processes. During this time, I observed a psycho-socio-cultural phenomenon in which the past is ever-present, belonging is intricately and psychosomatically tied to place, and the dominating fear of placelessness overwhelms. While many resources exist in these communities, they have not experienced healthy growth.
I enrolled in the Ph.D. program to study this phenomenon and develop reparative processes that can redress these issues observed in practice. My goal is to add to the conversation of planning ethics and social justice in planning by deepening a theory of place-based trauma for planners. I also aim to use this theory to inform practice as exploring inventive, reparative planning strategies that remedy past harms and wrongs can lead to communal healing.