I am thrilled to join the Empower Missouri Team and support the organization’s mission as Communications Manager. I was born in St. Louis and found my way back to Missouri in 2013; since then, I have become deeply invested in my community here. Taking on this new role is an amazing opportunity to help build power—and a future where every single one of us has our basic needs met and the chance to thrive.
I have been a team member of several nonprofit organizations working in DEI, LGBTQIA+ advocacy, and community education. For years I was also a mental health peer counseling volunteer for the St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline, an experience that I know will continue to influence me forever. More than anything I believe in the importance of collective care, as well as the day-to-day ways we can all show up for each other with empathy, curiosity, and mutual support.
I also know from that work that Missourians are in dire need of tangible and immediate systems-level change. Good mental health is impossible when a person does not have access to affordable housing, food security, or frameworks for justice that prioritize healing and dignity. Since these just so happen to be Empower Missouri’s core policy priorities, I know I’m in the right place.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in sociocultural anthropology and a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. I always hoped that my career would incorporate elements of both creativity and supporting social movements…so I’d say things are working out well!
Working in communications will never be the same two years in a row (one of the reasons I gravitate to this field). We continue to make use of new technology, new platforms for connecting with one another, and new language with which to describe our experiences. The possibilities are infinite, and what better use for these tools than getting organized for justice? For example, I have seen firsthand that social media can be an invaluable and accessible space for sharing information, mobilizing others, boosting events, putting words to our frustrations and hopes, and being moved to further action ourselves. (I also use it to share an infinite number of pictures of my chihuahua, Pigeon, but I probably won’t be posting many of those to Empower Missouri’s pages.)
Thanks to this organization, I already feel so much more in tune with what is happening in my state legislature and what part I can play. Progress is difficult when people feel isolated, but our collective consciousness becomes raised when we find one another—whether in-person or digitally. I am honored to lend a hand to that process as Communications Manager.