I am a student of the global majority.
My convictions, theologies, and worldview have been intentionally formed by voices from the margins, a population among which Jesus of Nazareth is counted.
I am a cultural architect, a healing-centered anti-racist facilitator, and a certified Historical Trauma Specialist equipping faith communities to embody the trauma-responsive work of racial healing and justice. I specialize in co-creating Christ-following communities that heal, liberate, and mobilize. I love to laugh and my real jam is relationships.
I am the founder and director of the Jesus and Justice Village, a virtual community that embodies a justice-centered faith and cultivates a culture where the dignity of all is held as sacred. We are a healing-centered space deeply informed by interpersonal neuroscience and the healing of intergenerational trauma. We are a community intentional about learning the truth of our racialized history so that we can mobilize to dismantle it, releasing a trybe of healing healers and prophetic disruptors into the world to embody and catalyze real change.
I am also an artist down to the marrow in my bones with a raw and deep love for the performing arts and their ability to change lives. Music, dance, spoken word, and visual art are ways that I embody a justice imagination and resist empire.
I am currently a Doctoral Candidate in Healing Racial Trauma at Howard University School of Divinity. I received my Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary with an emphasis in Intercultural Ministry. I received my BA in Sociology and African & African American Studies from the University of California, Davis.
A Glimpse Into My Story
I am half Brazilian, half Amish (white), and grew up in an inner city, predominantly Black community in East Oakland, California. Yes, you read that right. Amish, Brazilian, Black community... All flowing through the blood in these veins. This birthed in me a passion for justice, especially the myth that we call race. My faith-based work in racial Justice and healing has taken me around the world, most notably to Soweto, South Africa, for nearly ten years.
After 30 years a Brown woman on the front lines of racial justice and healing in the United States - often the only person of color in my graduate classes - I stepped off that plane in South Africa a white person for the first time in my life. That's right, in Soweto, a 100% Black African community of five million, I am perceived as entirely white and, therefore, considered among the oppressors. In the cities I was viewed as coloured, but in the townships... I was white. How can I be three different races in three different places?! I was no longer "one of us," I was "one of them." It was an identity crisis unlike any I had ever encountered.
It took me two years to realize that if I had any hope of gaining relational currency, trust, or credibility in my beloved community, I had to embrace the perceived identity as "white" in this context. Trying to explain that I was not - and had never been - white, only served to sabotage relationships and trust in my community.
Wrestling day in and day out with how I could be an agent of healing, justice, and repair as a white person in the most racially polarized country in the world thrust me into a crucible of discovery. Those ten years in Soweto radically challenged and changed my ideas of racial "reconciliation" (a term I no longer use) and I began to see the Gospel itself in an entirely new light.
Those ten years in the Motherland regarded as "white," changed the way I facilitate, teach, coach, consult, create, and disciple on race, healing, justice, and equity. And Brown Jesus of Nazareth sits squarely at the very core.
The greatest honor of my life has been fostering and adopting the most beautiful, tender-hearted, courageous, wise little souls, whom I named Jericho Elijah and Judah Manqoba. They are now 11 and 12 years old.