A native of Hamlet, NC, I moved to Durham in 1991 to attend law school at Duke after graduating from Princeton University.

After a brief stint practicing law in Washington, DC, I returned to NC to practice with my childhood friend and NC Central grad, Stephany Hand Biggs.  I practiced criminal defense law for several years before going to work at Self-Help. Currently, I work on issues of affordable housing and community economic development as Executive Director of the NC Housing Coalition. I’ve lived in Durham so long I remember when the only place to eat lunch in downtown Durham was the Subway in the basement of the courthouse.

I have an extensive and varied professional background that has included legal work, finance, and nonprofit management – working with institutions like TROSA and Habitat for Humanity.  However, the one thing that has remained consistent throughout my career is my commitment to dismantling the systems that restrict the lives of poor people, families, communities of color and other marginalized and underrepresented groups.  I have worked throughout my career to help expand access to resources in the community for people with serious, sometimes life-threatening, personal and legal issues – whether it is criminal justice, access to housing, food and medicine, childcare or legal services. I deeply believe that every person deserves the right to succeed – to “bloom where they are planted.

With the exception of brief stints elsewhere, I have lived in and loved Durham most of my adult life. My three children – Kimberly, Grace and Zora – are thriving in Durham Public Schools.