Hi, I'm Chelsea.


As a kid, I was often the only black girl in my classrooms. Growing up as an “outsider within” my mostly white schools shaped my critical interest in how race, class, and gender stratify social life. I gained the tools to understand my experiences as an undergraduate at Spelman College, where I became politicized as a feminist.  After graduating from Spelman summa cum laude, I began my doctoral program in Sociology at the University of Southern California as a Provost Fellow. I earned my M.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Gender Studies from USC in 2015, and will defend my dissertation in Spring 2019. 

Broadly, my academic research projects theorize bodies as mediums of culture, or the physical and symbolic form through which race, class, and gender hierarchies, social control, and social etiquette are played out. My past work on the sociology of sport and my dissertation project on Black beauty politics center the body to examine the complexity, multiplicity, and particularity of Black practices from an intersectional feminist perspective.

My overarching goal is to inform the development of just, equitable, and human-centered political strategies, design, media, scholarship, and artwork that reflect the situated knowledges and needs of those marginalized by race, class, and/or gender. In this pursuit, I recently co-founded a public sociology organization, CLC Collective. Our children's book about intersectionality is forthcoming Spring 2019 from Dottir Press.

In summer 2018, my I applied background in intersectional qualitative sociology at LinkedIn in Sunnyvale, CA as a Summer User Experience Researcher on the Careers Team. I worked alongside UX designers, engineers, and product managers to inspire empathetic and elegant end-to-end experiences through 1:1 interviews and fieldwork with job-seekers across the country.  I also have experience as an ethnographer at ReD Associates, a strategy consultancy based in New York and Copenhagen that uses the social sciences and humanities to answer clients' toughest business problems. I’ve worked alongside c-suite executives, designers, anthropologists, philosophers, and economists to understand the evolving core of human wants and needs. 

I am also an alumna of the Black European Summer School, the International Decolonial Black Feminism School, a UNCF/Mellon-Mays Fellow, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. 

When I'm not researching or writing, I enjoy hiking, reading novels, exploring new art mediums, and eating my way through new cities.