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hi there!
i'm em.

let's get to know each other. 

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bits of my story

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, came of age in Missouri, and have been shaped by relationships, projects, and networks that have led me all over the world.
Early Years
My youth was filled with the greys and greens of Seattle, speckled by special seasons with family in Denver, St Louis, and Anchorage. Between weekends getting lost in the evergreen woods of city parks, I watched our small townhouse living room transform into a hospice site for my aunt and uncle as they battled cancer, likely the result of their upbringing on the fringes of a dumping ground for waste from the Manhattan Project. (Twenty years later that same area north of St Louis would have the world's attention as the center point for a reckoning on racial justice and a sudden militarized state.) I did a lot of just world building in my imagination. 
Coming of Age in the Rust Belt
As a teen I moved to St Louis where I learned about sociology, primates, and the Delmar Divide while wandering Midtown. In my fifteen years in St Louis I spent time as a case worker, committed to my part in reducing recidivism rates and help people stabilize in a society which treats them like they don't fit. In the evenings I worked for small professional theatres and trained in ensemble, exploring the ways that we make plays and little heterotopic spaces, another method of chipping away at a fragile culture, and finding ways to make things, and people, fit.

After six years of case work I realized I needed to focus more on the systemic. I tapped into urban planning and collaborated with creative organizers from around the world to develop alternate structures to the city's stubborn economic, racial, and cultural divides. I started training in aerial and dance as kind of moving meditations, finding grounding in their lightness. 


The World is Wide

Invested as I am in St Louis, my matrilineal city, I needed to immerse myself in other urban and cultural contexts. I spent some time in Toronto and Montreal researching sustainability, economics, performance studies, and being an American slightly abroad. I also spent a bit of time pond-hopping between various parts of Europe, the UK, and Colombia. I joined the American Planning Association and presented at the International Urban Planning and the Environment Symposium in Argentina and Lisbon, and Resilience Conference in Stockholm. In a bunch of different cities I found people to dance with, sometimes in basements, sometimes in parklets.


Finding Roots

In 2018 I returned to Seattle, and in 2021 settled in Tacoma. I am reconnecting with the geography of my youth as the ancestral lands of the Puyallup, Duwamish, Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot. I am grateful for learning more about these lineages, the many Indigenous, settler, and chosen and forced migrations that now compose this region. I spend my days researching and collaborating around a vision for a just and sustainable world, starting here. I spend my evenings dreaming vividly, dancing, and tending to plants. 

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