Frameworks

The following frameworks guide all of my work:

Youth development

As a certified trainer of youth development, my work is steeped in youth development theory, which asserts that young people bring with them a rich set of knowledge and assets which must be strengthened through supportive, caring relationships, opportunities for genuine engagement as equal partners, and when needed, services that move them towards full health–all to ensure that they can meet their human needs in the most healthy, pro-social ways.

Anti-racism and equity

The United States of America, though founded with noble convictions, has an indisputable history of racial, gender-based and economic inequity that impacts all of us on individual, cultural, and institutional levels. To undo these inequities, I work from an anti-racism framework informed by the People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond‘s “Undoing Racism” curriculum. In my education work, I use a critical pedagogical approach, which encourages learners to challenge dominant narratives and knowledge sets, using an analysis of history and systems to see how things got to where they are, and to figure out a way forward.

Focus on assets and community knowledge management

I design experiences through an asset-based lens,  recognizing that:

    • All individuals are experts in their lived experience and have a knowledge set unique to them that others would also benefit from learning from.
    • All communities are wealthy in cultural, social, spiritual, and navigational capital

Nothing for us, without us (Participatory Action Research)

It is impossible to develop powerful engagement experiences for an audience without involving them in most (if not all) aspects of the design. Using a participatory action research approach, I work to ensure that all programs and experiences that I design are done in conversation with the communities they’re intended to serve and impact.

Honoring multiple intelligences and different abilities

In designing learning experiences, I honor what famed educator, Howard Gardner, put forward: that all humans are smart in different ways, and that to fully engage all learners, we must also teach using diverse modalities. I also am ever working to ensure that those in the disability community can engage equally in experiences that I design.