Empathic Community Activism

Understanding privilege, ability, and whiteness in environmental, human, and animal rights activism


We live in a world built on the exploitation of humans, non-human animals, and the environment. Because the broader systems of exploitation, violence, and suffering that exist across the globe can often be overwhelming, my activism is community-focused and aimed at making the spaces around me more compassionate and socially just. I primarily engage in activism in the areas of human rights and access to mobility, non-human animal rights, environmental sustainability, and LGBTQ+ rights and education. I am an able-bodied, White, cisgender, LGTBQ+ woman, and a settler on the land of displaced indigenous peoples. Certain aspects of my identity, such as being a Queer woman, place me in spaces of vulnerability in the social framework of not only the United States, but many other countries across the world. I also, however, significantly benefit from my whiteness and it affords me many privileges as I navigate my activism. Therefore, anytime that I am engaging with individuals and populations from underserved backgrounds, my words and actions must not speak for their lived experiences, but rather, stand in solidarity with and uplift their voices.

Current and Past Projects

Kickstand Community Bike Shop

As a long-time member of the Board of Directors, I direct the financial and community outreach operations of Kickstand, a nonprofit with the mission of working with community partners to provide Knoxville's most underserved communities with access to safe transportation.

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Knox Vegan

I serve as a contributing editor to this online community that strives to provide Knoxville with a comprehensive guide to finding healthy vegan food and wellness products across the city. I also facilitate book clubs and community workshops aimed at educating Knoxvillians about intersectional ethical veganism.

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Knoxville Farmed Animal Save

As a member of KFAS, I help support awareness of animal mistreatment and cruelty within and beyond the Knoxville area. We organize slaughterhouse vigils, community tabling events to provide literature on animal exploitation, and community education on living an intersectional and ethical vegan lifestyle.

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Scruffy City Vegan Fest

I am a member of the central organizing committee of SCVF with a focus on marketing and public relations. As a team, we created Knoxville's first vegan-focused festival in 2018 with an attendance rate of over 900 individuals, 30+ vendors, and a positive gross profit for funding an annual SCVF.

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Children's Diversity and Justice Library

I support the CDJL's efforts in creating programming and fundraising events to help the library grow and reach a greater audience. I also provide assistance in connecting community members from underrepresented groups with the library's programming efforts.

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Pitbull Advocacy and Rehabilitation

I engage in community advocacy to erode negative stigmas toward pitbull breeds and educate community members about responsible caretaking of pitbull breeds. I provide consulting to community members thinking about adopting a pitbull breed dog and connect them with pitbull-friendly local veterinarian offices.

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