"The process of empowerment cannot be simplistically defined in accordance with our own particular class interests. We must learn to lift as we climb."
~ Angela Davis
As a researcher and educator, social justice lies at the heart of the work I choose to do. It informs my study designs, methodologies and interpretation of the data. The importance of pursuing social justice also influences what I emphasize when teaching and speaking publicly.
My research experience is in examining how the White cis-heteronormative patriarchy of American culture has shaped individual responses to, and experiences of, sexual- and gender-based violence. In studying identity-based violence, the effectiveness of violence prevention programs, victim help-seeking and the incongruencies of victim blaming behavior, I often find wide gaps between what a person says they believe, how they act, and how they justify how they and others act. I believe many of these contradictions have roots in the various internalized gender, sexual and racial norms of American culture.
I acknowledge that my Whiteness and education affords me privileges that others do not equally benefit from, and I seek to address this inequity in praxis as well as development of theory. On a personal note, as a woman, I have experienced sexual violence and gender-based discrimination directly, in education, the workforce, and in private life.
Each of these factors contributes to my awareness of, and desire to seek change, in the systemic inequalities of American society through rigorous research and public education.