I'm an educator, writer, academic and life coach, white European-American mother of bi-racial boys, and wife of a kick-ass Alpha Phi Alpha who's just starting to align his paid work with his passion to support access and equity in education. I’m passionate about racial and gender justice and committed to continuing to grow in my ability to participate in transformative, boundary-crossing conversations that bring healing and reconciliation—knowing that I will mess up, do harm, need to receive and offer forgiveness time and time again, because that’s how being human with other humans works. And because I’ve breathed in racism and sexism, and all the other “isms,” and have about a million blindspots - as do most (all?) of us.
I'm unapologetically a bit of a spiritual mystic, and though I’m not quite comfortable claiming to be a Christian anymore, my roots lie in that tradition. I’m learning more and more to trust my intuition and learn from Spirit through my body and my imagination—that part of what I love helping other people to do too. So if you hang out with me, it's likely you're comfortable with deep conversations and some stuff other people might think is a little too "woo woo." In fact you probably long for the nourishment that these kinds of connections provide, whether you’re a totally committed Christian, not at all interested in any religion, or somewhere in-between.
I've got a pretty kick-ass day-job at the moment and some fancy letters after my name, but that's not what got me here.
The idea of thriving for equity was born out of my pain and failure.
I was an idealistic, inner-city teacher who cared deeply and burnt out quickly.
I was a stay-at-home mom who expected mothering to feel like my "highest calling" and found that being home with a baby left me feeling depressed and empty instead.
Then I became a "working mom," which was a little better, but I never could figure out how to care for myself, my kids, and all the other stuff at the same time.
I tried the push-harder, live-on-less, guilt-motivated, self-sacrificing path - as a mom, a teacher, a childcare director, a PhD student, and a professor... and even as a spiritual seeker.
Always, always I wanted to do good and to BE good in the world.
But so often that "doing good and being good" thing seemed to conflict with my desires, my needs, and the nourishment of my soul.
Not anymore. I follow my joy. I listen to my desires. I trust my intuition. And, amazingly, the positive impact I am making is increasing, not decreasing. My ability to love and show compassion is expanding. I'm becoming a courageous leader in ways that constantly surprise me. My health has improved and so has my bank account.
I still think there’s a lot that needs changing about our world and we should do our part to change it. I just think we start that change by seeking and finding our own particular version of joy…
And ease, and power, and creativity, and compassion and deep, deep healing, transformative love. Not by starving our souls. Not by ignoring our bodies. Not by leaving our bank accounts empty. (Gasp! Yes. I believe good people can also make good money. In fact, I think quite a few of us really need to if we’re going to facilitate big change.)
So, I coach social justice oriented educators (and other wanna-change-the-world-sensitive-souls) to find and follow their callings with more joy and ease. THRIVING. Not just surviving. And not constantly striving to meet standards that can never be met.
Then I watch them change the world in their own unique, sometimes surprising, ways.
Does that sounds like something you want for yourself? Let’s chat!
Official (and not so official) Qualifications
PhD in Childhood Studies, MA in Educational Ministry, BA in Elementary Education
CA Child Development Program Director Permit
Certified Academic Life Coach
Completed Tara Mohr's Playing Big Facilitator's Training
Martha Beck Wayfinder coach-in-training
Historian of play, early childhood education and African American education
Former preschool teacher, child-care director and college professor
Mother of biracial children who has struggled with mothering/career tensions
HSP (highly sensitive person) who wants to change the world, but sometimes has trouble just handling the noise of life
Survivor of depression, anxiety and compulsive eating
Contemplative spiritual seeker within and beyond the Christian tradition
As part of my own adventure in thriving for equity, I recently relocated across the country from Philadelphia to Los Angeles with my husband, Dave, and my youngest son, Devin, an avid high school basketball player. I miss "my" Wissahickon woods and the friends who walk in them with me, the Finger Lakes of New York, fall, and the walkable cities of the Northeastern part of the U.S. But I appreciate the ease of the Southern California climate and the space it offers me and my husband to experiment, expand and explore. My oldest son, Josh, has joined us here and is getting following his own creative path into adulthood as a stylist - which is super fun to watch. In the midst of it all I attempt, quite imperfectly, to keep in touch with friends and family around the country... and to remember to walk my rather anxious and somewhat neurotic dog.