I am a 1.5-generation Afro-Boricua from Arroyo, PR and Hartford, CT. The youngest of four, I was raised by my mother Ana Hilda. A proud product of the public and state education systems, I was fortunate to have encountered social justice minded teachers, professors, and mentors along the way. I graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1991, received a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Eastern CT State University in 1996, and a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2005. As an anthropologist my work is focused on the Caribbean, the African Diaspora in the Americas, and on Latinxs. I am a professor in the Sociology/Anthropology Dept. at the University of Rhode Island. My publications include Imaging the Great Puerto Rican Family (2014), and academic articles such as, Beyond Blanqueamiento, Identity Practices, among several others. I contribute regularly to popular venues such as The Conversation, SAPIENS, NACLA Report of the Americas, and others. I am passionate about the natural environment and believe this comes from the fact that my people hail from a coastal town at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. Like many of my family members I am an avid gardener and I tend to a small ornamental and food garden. I dream of one day becoming a full-time plant whisperer! I try to spend as
much time in the outdoors as possible, preferably near the sea. I enjoy the outdoors in the company of my husband, Carlos, our son Khalil, and our mutt Amiga.