These days, I focus on three areas for advocacy work. I’m always up to discuss these special interests — feel free to send me a message or connect on social media (links in the header).
There are approximately 20 million people of Romany (exonym “Gypsy,” also known as Rom, Roma, and Romani) across the globe, with about one million in the United States. Romany people are still subject to a horrifying amount of violence and racism, including segregated housing, education, hate crime, police profiling, forced sterilization, unemployment — if it is cruel, then it’s still happening. Anti-Ziganist sentiment is still acceptable in much of the world — while, at the same time, parts of our culture are taken out of context, stolen, romanticized, and commodified.
I’ve compiled a list of resources on the Roma and Romany culture, which will be periodically updated.You are welcome to share this link, if you’d like.
I speak on Romany rights whenever I can. This is a talk I gave in February, 2022:
As a writer, I usually work in solitude. But any success I have is never achieved alone. I’ve been honored to serve as a commissioner on the Renton Municipal Arts Comission (RMAC) since 2021. We offer information, connection, and, most importantly, financial support to individuals and organizations producing art in the southern end of King County, Washington.
- Apply for a 2022 RMAC arts grant
- Download the Renton Arts and Culture registry
- Check out Renton’s public art
- Stay informed with RMAC’s newsletter
Ankylosing spondylitis awareness
Ankylosing spondyitis is an inflammatory disease that most typically affects the joints of the hips and spine, though its symptoms systemically manifest all over the body. I can say, from personal experience, it’s the most fun you can have with inflammation (OK, not really). I’m actually quite lucky in that my AS is as well controlled as possible with medication, though I do live with a level of chronic pain and reduced mobility.
In 2022, I joined the board of Walk AS One. Our mission is to increase awareness of AS — it’s still relatively unknown, considering it is not a rare condition, and it is a condition with an often gobsmackingly-long time between symptom presentation and diagnosis. Our signature event, Walk Your AS Off, is a super-fun virtual walkathon event that takes place, usually, during the month of May. I encourage you to join us.
If you have any questions about AS or our event, you can email me at my board email.