Who am I? In a nutshell:

BS/MA/JD/PhD. Scholar who studies parenting, race and inequality in the law. Mommy to The Prince (8), The Queen (6) and The Messenger (2). Wife to The Protector, a man who loves me more than I’ll probably ever know.  Writer who shares openly. Bipolar Survivor who struggles daily. Friend dedicated to just being there. Lover of coffee and wine. Human willing to give to make the world better. Child of the Most High, striving to give unrelenting praise.

I am Dr. Mama Esq. I’ve spent my life trying to find my purpose, that thing that makes me who I am and that allows me to use my gifts.


I was born in the best city on the East Coast, the oldest of two children. My brother is only 11 months younger than me, and we both attended public school in Philly. I skipped first grade, and was generally the youngest in all of my classes. I attended the best public high school in the city, and won a full scholarship to college.

While in college, I majored in Management and Legal Studies, and was an active member of my university’s community. I sang in a premier a cappella ensemble, and chaired one of the four branches of student government. I graduated with academic honors, as well as three school-wide awards for leadership. DSCN0821

After college, I worked as an investment banker structuring municipal bond deals. I loved the work and the pay, but hated the hours. I knew I wanted a family, and the banking lifestyle just was not going to work. I left banking and went back to my alma mater as a program coordinator for two years while I figured out what I wanted as an adult.

DSCF0417During that time, I met my husband and became a mother for the first time. I had applied to law school, but deferred when I realized I was pregnant. We stayed around my family, almost all of whom lived in Philadelphia. Instead of law school, I instead pursued a masters, which I thought would complement my law school career. During that year, I applied to PhD programs, when I saw how much I loved doing research. I also applied to law school (again.)

mommybabiesA few schools around the country accepted me in JD/PhD programs and when I went to visit the best university on the Left Coast, I fell in love. Even though I was pregnant with my second child, we moved to the West Coast with an 18-month-old in tow and a newborn on the way. My daughter was born four weeks before I began my PhD program.

sisters_graduationWe eventually had a third child, I’ve finished my PhD and JD and my children are now eight, seven and two. My scholarly work concerns inequality, participation, and parenting within the law. Now that I’ve completed school, I am moving on to the next phase of our journey, including nurturing my marriage and my children and taking the next steps towards my goal of a law faculty position at a top law school.

I am creating this site to share what I’ve learned in my life about love, family, career, and choices. I’ve dealt with bipolar II disorder for the last several years, and I have thoughts 🙂 For better or worse, I do not know many people like me:  black, female, married, mother, degrees at top schools, with mental-health struggles who is committed to social justice. Sometimes I feel alone and isolated, and after years of writing my other two blogs, I know there are others who also feel this way.

So I want to share with you how I arrived where I am, how I overcame the personal and professional obstacles in my way, how I think about parenting my black children in a predominately white community, and how I am challenging myself to live up to the purpose God has for my life.

What do you want to know? How can I help you on your journey? Please leave questions and comments below. I’m excited to start building with you.

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Amazing and inspirational! My question is how do you do it all, how do you manage your time – being a student a wife and having young children? What if anything have you had to sacrifice?


    1. Thank you for reading!! Short answer — excellent time management and letting go of the stuff that doesn’t really matter. I will be sure to address these questions more in depth in an upcoming post.


  2. Firstly, congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I definitely applaud you for your hard work. I can only imagine how difficult it is to successfully raise a family, be a wife, and take care of your personal needs while pursuing degrees at some the nation’s top institutions. That is an awesome and major accomplishment. Much kudos to you! Secondly, I know you have mentioned before that you were suffering from a mental illness. While in the program, how were you able to manage everything? At some point did you feel like you couldn’t balance everything or had trouble focusing? I’m asking because, I am a mother of just one child, I attend school online and I find it so hard to concentrate. My mind is usually in several different places at once, and my grades are suffering because of that. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Once again, kudos!


  3. Thank you for reading! I will be sure to address this issue in an upcoming post. In short, I just stopped multi-tasking — work time is work time, kid time is kid time. Housework may or may not get done.


  4. Hi, I am a Black, female, married mom of 4, recently earned my PhD in clinical/counseling psychology with a research focus on the mental health of African American moms and children. We live in Santa Cruz (moved here from Ohio, though my husband is originally from East Coast). Always looking to build community with sister mamas. We should talk 🙂


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