I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Language and Literacy at the University of British Columbia, where I am studying youth and media. I came to UBC from The New School, where I earned an MA in Media Studies.
I am originally from California, and have spent the last decade of my life cultivating my love of youth and media, in New York and in Oakland, in Los Angeles and now in Vancouver with a number of awesome, inspiring organizations, and especially in Latin America, through work with Amigos de las Americas.
I was the Project Director in Boaco, Nicaragua, in 2006 and from 2009-2011, where I coordinated with Plan International to run a seven week summer media/arts program in twenty six rural communities. The program continues to run, now under the auspices of two brilliant young women who have been on my staffs in summers past. There are more than a hundred youth involved in this initiative, and I am very proud of the youth involved, and honored to have had the opportunity to work with youth from all over the Americas in media-making in Boaco.
I am deeply interested in and invested in the politics of participation in new media spheres, and the how young people come to be involved- or not- in publics spawned by social media, new media production, and digital culture. I emerge from engagements with feminsit, postcolonial and queer theories and endlessly hopeful that through intensive, throughtful critique of our practices, programs, and dreams we can imagine and construct a world different from the heteronormative, racist, classist, mysgonistic norms that construct our knowing of and participation in the world. I’m absolutely insistent that critique is the stuff of liberation, and that without critical voices that interrogate our practices as we attempt to build movement for change, we are lost. I’m hopeful.
For you AMIGOS out there, my AMIGOS history is well, lengthy: I was an AMIGOS volunteer twice, and then an AMIGOS supervisor. I was an Associate Project Director, too, and 2011 was my 4th summer as the Project Director in Boaco. I was the training director in the East Bay for a few years, too. So much of my life has been tied up with the wonder that is AMIGOS, and with the wonderful places, friends, and projects I have been fortunate to participate with. I am just delighted to be able to braid this wonderful organization, and the incredible youth in Boaco, into my academic world. Its an amazing thing to be able to write my dissertation on something I am so deeply passionate about.