Occupation: Solutionary educator
Hometown: I was an Army "brat" growing up, so ... Kansas City feels like home because it's the place I have lived more than any other and it holds within its limits my epic community of heart-centered artists, visionaries and gay men.
Current neighborhood: Brookside
Who or what is your sidekick? A small Nordic prince from another dimension, named Björn, who is here to teach me the secrets of humility, peace, love and light.
What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Spiritual healer/medicine woman
What was the last local restaurant you patronized? You Say Tomato
Where do you drink? With friends in homes and parks ... at kitchen tables, on couches, porches or ... wherever the sacred sip need be.
What's your favorite charity? This is hard. I love so many, but I would have to say the ROYAL Project, which is a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides life coaching and case strategy for the disproportionate population of African-American youth in the juvenile justice system. They have a powerful program that is catalytic consciousness, empowering youth from the inside out.
Favorite place to spend your paycheck: Hmm, I am incredibly frugal. Trader Joe's for non-GMO and organic groceries and Maj-R Thrift for the occasional fashion upgrade.
What local phenomenon do you think is overrated? The Power & Light District and the Plaza
Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? The east Crossroads for First Friday; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Café Sebastienne; the magical forests around the Nelson-Atkins' sculpture garden; to see the buskers in the River Market on Saturday mornings in the spring, summer and fall.
Finish this sentence: "Kansas City got it right when ... " It invested in supporting and cultivating its cultural vitality through the arts and entrepreneurship sectors.
"Kansas City screwed up when ... " It focused its development energies on conducting meetings to discuss the potential to meet and consider what is possible, market studies focused on serving vast populations with deep pockets of expendable cash, and doing assessments of needs to create "plans" that could be implemented once we find more funding to do the work that was discovered to be "desirable" to the "community."
"Kansas City needs ... " To become the exemplary sustainable community of the future, complete with a gross domestic happiness index, a diversity of public transportation options, localized organic-food producers, holistic community-education centers, alternative value-exchange systems, and a standard operating procedure in social service that is trauma-informed, equitable, empowering and holds a belief that everyone in need of services has assets to leverage and a purpose to unfold.
"People might be surprised to know that I ... " Believe that we are able to consciously and creatively eliminate poverty.
"On my day off, I like to ... " Dance, play at the park, read epic stories, sing songs, make homemade chocolate-chip/flax/oatmeal pancakes while talking with a British accent and sipping on a perfect Americano and wrassle.
"In five years, I'll be ... " Collaborating with an international community of artist-educators as global ambassadors of peace.
What TV show do you make sure you watch? I abandoned the TV long ago, but The Daily Show inspires a fairly regular viewing via comedycentral.com.
____ take up a lot of space in my iTunes: Tempo/mood-based playlists
What movie do you watch at least once a year? The Snowman
What local tradition do you take part in every year? Mardi Gras/carnival season in KC is epic fun!
Celebrity you'd like to ride the Mamba with at Worlds of Fun: His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: Hyper-focus on social media for community outreach and social action
What subscription - print, digital, etc. - do you value most? TED Talks
Last book you read: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Favorite day trip: St. Joseph, Missouri. Destinations: the Glore Psychiatric Museum, and thrift and antique stores. Stop over in Wathena, Kansas, to visit farmer John Goode, purveyor of the most delicious tomatoes grown in the KC area.
What is your most embarrassing dating moment? During my freshman year in college, I went out with a group of friends to the symphony and didn't really realize that I was on a date until after I said, "It's not like this is a date" to the young man who thought that I was his date. He was my lab partner in zoology. Everyone, including myself, thought I was a bitch. He was sweet and smart. I was dumb but quickly forgiven. Sorry about that, Scott. You were a great lab partner!
Interesting brush with the law? When I was five months pregnant, I was working at a pizza joint in Seattle. It was the end of my shift. I was starving and had to go to the bathroom, when one of my tables was seated with what appeared to be a family of three. I quickly got their drink order. The "parents" ordered waters and the "son" ordered a Bud Light. I carded him, glanced at the card and said, "How old are you?" He replied, "Twenty-one," and I looked at him and his "folks" with a smile and said, "I will be back with your drinks in one moment."
As I set the beer down in front of him, "dad" pulls out a badge. I got stung by the Liquor Control Board. I was mortified. It was one of those experiences that is forever imprinted in your mind. I almost peed my pants, and by the end of it, "mom" was advising my boss on all the reasons that I shouldn't be fired. The next day, my job search began. Thank God for my exceptional barista skills in a city of coffee snobs.
Describe a recent triumph: Becoming the TEDxYouth@StateLineRoad organizer has been an awesome opportunity to collaborate with KC's most creative firm, VML, and the innumerable driven professionals who seek to support and cultivate ideas worth spreading in KC and beyond. My vision for this youth movement is to build the most diverse TEDx event in KC, coming early this fall. We will be getting started soon with TEDxYouth@StateLineRoad Salon events.