“More people read Cosmo than the American Journal of Sociology.”

At 23, I entered a Ph.D. program. I aced my quantitative sociology courses covering statistics, data, and multivariate analysis. Selected by the department’s chair to teach my peers by leading a stats lab, I’ve loved math since at least as early as my membership in my high school’s Math Club. I had a blast — and especially loved researching sex and gender — though I remember telling one of my professors, “More people read Cosmo than the American Journal of Sociology.”

By 25, I’d earned my Master’s degree and later published research. Yet, I put off the Ph.D. I was in my 20s. I wanted to: gain practical, real-world life experience; travel the world; and learn languages. (I did all of that.) Plus, I believed in creating a more just world. I didn’t believe the impetus for such change resided exclusively in the Ivory Tower. In fact, the racism I experienced while attending grad school in the U.S. showed me academia certainly has its own problems related to social change. (Happy to grab a beer or wine and chat about this if more if you’d like.)

Life happened, as life does. I’ve since lived in both the Netherlands and Portugal. My career has been about inclusively empowering people to thrive in their most intimate connections. On a micro level, I do this spreading positive sexual health information to individuals and communities that need it. (Really, we all do.) On a macro level, my team and I do this at my firm, FUNKY BROWN CHICK, Inc. We do this by deploying intersectional sexual health interventions across nine areas of social impact that enable global community to further develop positive sexual and reproductive health.

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