top of page


My work examines individuals’ experiences with employment- both job loss and job changes- and how economic and social inequalities are reproduced via systemic constraints on employment mobility. In particular, I am interested in the employment experiences of Black workers in the American South. Though I have trained in quantitative and qualitative methods, I primarily use in-depth, semi-structured interviews to understand how varied experiences produce negative outcomes for Black workers. I also employ community-engaged research practices in my work. I value the opportunity to co-create knowledge with local communities in ways that accurately and authentically reflect the world as they experience it and hope it to become. Community-engaged research practices are an important component of my research toolkit and will remain a feature of my future scholarship.


I have received several competitive grants, through Duke University and external funders, to support my research. Most recently, I received funding to support my dissertation from Mathematica, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and the National African American Child and Family Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Other Research

“Parenting in a Pandemic. Associations with Job Loss and Parent-Child Interactions.” With Nina Smith, PhD.

This project is a mixed-methods study of the real-time effects of COVID-19 in Black families. My co-author and I explore associations among job loss, parenting practices, and parent-child interactions among a sample of 182 respondents. Logistic regression analyses reveal a significant association between job loss and harsh parenting practices like taking one’s frustration out on children. Job loss is also significantly related to withdrawn parent-child interactions like lack of engagement when parents and children are together. Qualitative results reveal how pandemic-related conditions in the homes of many of displaced workers, like virtual learning, increased stress, and disrupted routines, further exacerbate the frustrations caused by job loss.

“Barriers to Driver’s License Restoration: Evidence from North Carolina’s DEAR Program.”

This project examines why local initiatives, developed to address racial inequality, fail to deliver on their promise. To do so, I study the case of Durham’s Expunction and Restoration (DEAR) program. To combat racial inequality in the city, DEAR strives to remove the financial and administrative barriers that prevent driver’s license restoration. Though tens of thousands of Durham residents are eligible for DEAR services, few have had their driver’s licenses restored. This project draws upon interview data from 63 program participants and staff to understand the features of program design- including which charges are eligible for forgiveness- and administrative hurdles like hidden fees, paperwork, and interagency cooperation, the prevent programs like DEAR from achieving its stated goal.

bottom of page