I am a PhD student in Ethnomusicology. My research examines soul music as a lived cultural practice, an artistic genre, a marketable commodity, and an important historical site for the articulation of gender, race and class in American popular culture. I am currently engaged in an oral history project in Chicago which examines the interplay between political activism, black cultural politics, and performing arts through the musical and political affirmation of “Soul Power.” Prior to coming to Pitt, I received my BA from an interdisciplinary Cultural Studies program at Columbia College Chicago. Before returning to academic study, I immersed myself in non-profit work as a teaching artist for the MGR Foundation where I taught an Artistic Activism class that engaged at risk youth with performance, history and community. I have also been an instructor for Pittsburgh Montessori schools, Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, The South Side Community Arts Center in Chicago, IL, and Recreational Arts, Inc. in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. I have presented papers at the Cultural Studies Association Conference, the “Popular Music and Communities” conference at Case Western Reserve University, and the Ann Arbor Symposium IV “Teaching Popular Music” at The University of Michigan.