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Side Projects

If you do it right, work is fun. But free time is even more fun. I like to use my free time to make things, learn, and grow. Here's a few of my favorite projects and experiments.
 

Community

Better Than Small Talk
I've been on a mission to encourage the world to have better conversations that result in authentic connection and relationships of greater depth and meaning. I host Better Than Small Talk gatherings to help people break through the wall of small talk and get into real conversation.

Bay Area Black Designers
For more than a decade, I knew less than 5 other black designers. Shit gets lonely. So I founded Bay Area Black Designers to create a community where black designers could find each other, form a network of other friends and colleagues who know what it's like to feel like the only one, and support each other with professional development.  Three years later, we're 400+ strong. Members range in skill level from students to art directors with 20+ years of experience. Profiled in Forbes. 🎉

Writing

A Farewell to Palms
An essay published in Open Review Quarterly about my experience living in an intentional community on the big island of Hawaii

Wasted Opportunity
An essay + photo essay about city living, compost, hunger and climate change.

Foodbaby Bay
I wanted to see what it would be like to write a food blog for a year so I chronicled my delicious first year living in the Bay Area.

Art

Sketchbook
A few pages from my sketchbook

Screenprint Series: Street Harassment
One day I got really tired of getting harassed on the street. I’d also always wanted to learn how to screenprint. So I combined the two.

Screenprint Series: Holidaze
Commissioned cards for The Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland CA

Camera
My old photography blog from back in the day

Personal development

Vipassana Meditation
10-days of silent meditation. Not for the faint of heart.

I did The 30-day Challenge… every month for 2 years
I gave myself a different 30-day challenge every month for two years. Challenges rotated between: Creation, Deprivation, Exertion, Appreciation. Examples: Only giving myself 1 hour of internet per week; no sugar for a month; write and mail a daily note of gratitude; figure out how to sew silk-lined hats without using a pattern; 100 crunches every day; and doing the Clean elimination detox.

Plants

Tiny Wonders
Combining my love of plants with my love of design.

Becoming a Master Gardener
I was trained to serve the public as a “citizen scientist”, certified by Washington State University, 2009.
WSU Master Gardeners are dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the mission of the WSU Master Gardener program to deliver science-based information to Washington State communities that helps to conserve and enhance our natural resources while improving the quality of life and wellbeing of Washington State residents.  WSU Master Gardeners spend over 100 hours in training and give back a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service to become certified Master Gardener Volunteer Educators.

Education/Music

Musiplication
I made some music to help kids learn their times tables and ended up with a #1 song on XM/Sirius satellite radio. The hit single 5 on 5 reached the #1 spot on the Sirius XM Kids 13 Under 13 countdown chart, spending a total of 4 months in the Top 13. The week that 5 on 5 reached #1, it beat out tracks by The Roots, Medeski Martin & Wood, and the Madagascar soundtrack, all of which also appeared in the countdown that week. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) also featured one of the album’s tracks on their website's lesson plan for learning 6 & 7 multiplication. 

Yes She Can
A spoken word project celebrating women and girls in STEM

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Likes: Rollerskating, hammocks, Socratic questioning, participating in spelling bees, cheese-based snacks, flawless analogies, making stuff, the Oxford comma, and boundaries.

Dislikes: Runny eggs, okra, elitism, musicals,  poor work ethic, moths flying anywhere near me, exhaust pipes, and being forced to breathe other people’s perfume and cologne.