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 was introduced to intersectional feminism.  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 from USC in 2015, and completed my Ph.D. in Sociology with a graduate certificate in Gender Studies in 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, IntersectionAllies: We Make Room For All is forthcoming July 2019 from Dottir Press.

In the corporate world, I have experience as a strategy consultant and as a user experience (UX) researcher. At ReD Associates, a boutique consultancy that uses ethnographic methods to answer clients' toughest business problems, I worked alongside executives, designers, anthropologists, philosophers, and economists to understand the evolving core of human wants and needs. In 2018, I was a Summer User Experience (UX) Researcher on the Careers Team LinkedIn in Sunnyvale, CA. I collaborated with 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 look forward to returning to LinkedIn in August 2019!

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.

Let’s Connect!

I enjoy working with filmmakers, artists, entrepreneurs, and fellow academics. If you have a please do not hesitate to reach out. I also love hearing any and all hair stories so don't be shy-- say hello!

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