I’m an urban historian interested in how police power and legitimacy are established through law and custom.
My research broadly explores how, to borrow historian Joe Trotter’s framing, “overpoliced and underprotected” Black and Latinx workers, youth, and the poor have collectively resisted police violence and reimagined community safety on their own terms. While my writing is largely anchored in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the lessons I seek to impart are extensible to the whole of metropolitan America. A dedication to antiracism, labor rights, gender and sex equity, and human dignity informs my praxis.
To that end, I believe democracy will never be realized in the U.S. until we end the Prison Industrial Complex and make surveillance, policing, and punishment obsolete. That means honestly reckoning with this country’s formative history of indigenous genocide, white settler-colonialism, and racial-capitalist development. It means paying reparations to the descendants of enslaved Black families who built this nation and have steadily resisted criminalization, economic plunder, and state violence. And it means assertively investing in housing, jobs, education, and healthcare through programs of social relief that reject market-driven approaches. While I think research helps further these ends, it’s through political education and activism that we’ll build, what Dr. King references as, the “beloved community.”
I hail from greater Hartford, CT, where trips to museums like the Mark Twain House and Wadsworth Atheneum as a youth instilled an early sense of place and passion for story telling and artistic visualization. I’m currently based in Houston, TX, which occupies traditional Karankawa and Akokisas lands.