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"Everything in life is writable 
if you have the outgoing guts to do it,
and the imagination to improvise."   

Sylvia Plath
b.1932 - d. 1963


Poverty No Excuse for Moral Censure

Journal Gazette, Oct 2 2022

Privilege prevents progress, and until the realities of our entire community are acknowledged, disadvantaged communities will remain the scapegoat for those who don’t have to think about the cost of their $7 latte while sitting in the drive-through at Starbucks.

A part of Arp’s trope is valid, though, but in a way he presumably didn’t intend: The only thing that resembles a circus act is the high wire balanced daily by those who are disadvantaged.

Being poor isn’t for the weak. Nor does economic suffering warrant moral castigation. For more click here.


Neighbors' Struggles Could Become Ours

Journal Gazette, May 29 2022

Income disparities weaken our democracy and, I contend, are our moral obligation to address. You may not be struggling to make ends meet, but thousands of your neighbors are.

Platforms and agendas rife with issues that impact only a fraction of residents all too often prevail over the needs of the greater community.

I implore current and future officeholders not to forget about the 130,000 facing the challenging decisions of whether to pay utility bills or put food on the table for their families on a daily basis. They're your constituents.

This was me not too long ago. It could be you next. For more click here.


Home Security

Journal Gazette, March 4 2022

Many of our neighbors experience housing insecurity daily and in a variety of ways – skyrocketing rent, a mortgage or rent burden requiring more than a third of their income, insufficient housing stock or homelessness.

Our community must commit to substantive change to address this dire situation; that includes elected officials. This is why it's a part of my political platform for the new House District 82. For more click here


Correcting Inequitable Investment

Journal Gazette, Jan. 23 2022

A total of $10,262 is allocated to educate a single child in Indiana. However, this amount presumes all people's circumstances are equal. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Such an ideology only works in a perfect world where all things are equal. It's shortsighted to expect similar results in student success when there's an inequitable investment in public education. For more click here.  


Poor excuses

Journal Gazette, Dec. 3 2021

There are 1,478 nonprofits in Allen County, and 373 are human services organizations that provide direct service to the needy. Human services organizations, such as my employer (Wellspring Interfaith Social Services), constitute the second-largest employer sector in Allen County. For more click here


Ask Not What the World Owes You...

Journal Gazette, Nov. 2 2021

I run hard in everything I undertake...not stepping aside for someone to have their turn because they or others believe they're entitled to it is a privileged notion that counters the very nature of our survival skills as a species. I don't feel the world owes me anything; in fact, conversely, I feel I owe the world everything. For more click here


'Person Over Personal Agenda': Relationships are Foundational

Journal Gazette, Oct. 1 2021

Relationships have the ability to transcend our differences and allow us to arrive at deference - humble submission and respect...The 'social' is as  critical to our shared humanity as is oxygen. For more click here

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Living with the Invisible Monster

Journal Gazette, Nov. 1 2020

The love and support I've experienced from so many of you is the sort of compassion I want to remember most about this experience, not the invisible monster that will persist if people continue to choose ego over the well-being of humanity. For more click here

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Changing Direction

Fort Wayne Magazine, Nov. 2020

"Everyone deserves a life where their basic needs are met, and the onus is on us to make it so. I do not think it is about paying it forward, as much as it is about being a good human." For more click here

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Welcoming Community to Open Arms All Week Long

Journal Gazette, Sept. 2020

I'm encouraged that one day there will be a unified civic commitment to immigrant/refugee integration in Fort Wayne...successful immigrant integration is more of a reflection of one's community than of national policies. For more click here

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A Gnawing Concern

Journal Gazette, May 2020

Understanding what food insecurity is theoretically versus the reality of your neighbor not knowing where their next meal is coming from are two very different things. For more click here


A City of Faith

Fort Wayne Magazine, April 2019

Faith is a verb and building intentional relationships across different sectors is critical for the vitality of the community.  For more click here

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Communities Coming Together

Journal Gazette, Nov. 2018

What better way to show how welcoming our community is than by recognizing the accomplishments of immigrants, refugees and providers in the Fort Wayne area?  For more click here.

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Relationships Beyond the Digits

News Sentinel, April 2018

Regardless of one’s professional calling, I believe we need more old school relationship-building. The ongoing education I’ve received over the years has lent to a deeper understanding of our shared humanity. For more click here.

Other Selected Works...

Journal Articles


'To Hell with the Wigs!' Native American Representation and Resistance at the World's Columbian Exposition, American Indian Quarterly, Fall, 2012.

A Legacy of Forced Removal: the Removal of the Miami Tribe, International Journal of Population Geography, March 2003.

Books Chapters

Psychological & Emotional Problems, In Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today, Russell Lawson, ed. 2013. 

Miami Indian Removal, In Encyclopedia of American Indian Removal, Daniel Littlefield, Jr, & James Parins, eds. 2011. 

The Agency of Language Ideologies in Miami Indian Recovery, In Ethnographic Contributions to the Study of Endangered Languages, Tania Granadillo & Heidi Orcutt-Gachiri, eds. 2011.


Contested Territories: Native Americans and Non-Natives in the Lower Great Lakes, 1700-1850, Charles Beatty Medina & Melissa Rinehart, eds. 2012.

Blog Post

Why the Cultural Conversation Should Never StopHuffington Post, May 26, 2012.

Inspiration from Haiti Part I, Anthropology Now, June 18, 2010. 

Inspiration from Haiti Part 2, Anthropology Now, June 21, 2010. 


Choice Champions Change

Northwest News, Oct. 2017

I'm a firm believer of having options during election season. Indiana statistics for unchallenged races don't bode well for us as a democratic society. For more click here

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Welcoming Fort Wayne Working to Build Stronger Community

News Sentinel, Oct. 2017

The ministry educates the non-immigrant community about the importance of immigrant newcomers.  For more click here.

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Allen County Needs to Get Healthier

Northwest News, Sept. 2017

We all pay the price, financial and otherwise, with an infrastructure inadvertently maintaining social inequities.  For more click here

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The Tapestry that Ties Us Together

Journal Gazette, July 2017

If someone were to ask me who my personal heroes are, I'd tell them in a heartbeat any immigrant or refugee who's carved a new path for themselves in the United States. For more click here.

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Tribal Counsel

Journal Gazette, May 2017

It feels as if the bar continues to creep lower for thoughtful engagement, decorum and a demonstrable appreciation for our collective identity as Americans. For more click here


From 'Bagay La' to 'My Thing'

Practicing Anthropology, Summer 2014

All anthropological work is morally grounded...My practice, now more than ever before, is profoundly rooted in moral obligation and how it serves others. For more click here

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