A native of San Francisco, I am one of five children born to parents who were deeply involved in the civil rights movement. They were also active in the burgeoning art, music, and theater scenes that utilized creativity as a tool for social and political comment. These examples helped me build an essential foundation for my own life’s work.
When considering colleges, I chose the University of Texas at Austin because while it was similar in terms of being located in a progressive and diverse city, its southwestern culture offered a wildly different experience from what I’d grown up around. I have never regretted that choice. As Austin has evolved over the years from a small college town and humble Texas capital into one of the most renowned creative centers and start-up incubators in the world, I’ve been able to grow with it.
I was fortunate to be able to engage my passion for public policy through my work as Chief of Staff in The Texas Senate; Policy Liaison for the Texas Environmental Defense Fund; Executive Director of Community Investment Corporation; and leadership positions on several nonprofit boards operating on behalf of environmental issues and the arts. Through my work, I began to recognize patterns in effective storytelling as a necessary tool to frame issues so that people can understand cause, effect, and consequence. However, as technology increased the amount of data collected, facts and figures began to replace narrative – and I watched as people became disconnected with the implications of their choices. It was then that I decided to work with individuals and organizations to help them translate this vital information into stories that raise awareness and create meaningful change.