Crystal’s broad intellectual and political social justice commitments and interests run deep. Born and raised in New York City at the end of the civil rights movement, on the cusp of the Black Power Movement, coming of age during third wave Feminism. Living by the Audre Lorde quote “…silence will not protect you,” she has always tried to use her voice in service to others to tell the truth about racialized sexism and other forms of oppression.
Crystal began her social work career in community based mental health, and in nonprofit leadership development and management. She worked at the Center for Child and Family Health at Duke University and her practice was in maternal and pediatric mental health. She was also the Director of Racial Justice and Maternal Child Wellness at the YWCA.
Crystal is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Connecticut. She is also on faculty at North Carolina State University where she teaches as a part-time distance education instructor. Crystal has worked at NC State in the Department of Social Work since 2011 in various capacities teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate social work programs. She is also scheduled to teach summer 2016 at Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts.
She is a dynamic public speaker, is involved in several social justice campaigns from reproductive justice to advocacy for prisoners and their families, and routinely writes about racial and social justice. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, the intersections of race, gender, reproductive oppression, and health. Her courses are designed to promote social justice values by challenging students’ thinking about systems, power, and identity. She encourages all students, particularly historically marginalized ones, to grow in their power and leadership as social change agents.
She is also the proud mother of two daughters: a 24 year-old Occidental College alum who is already changing the world; and Bumblebee, a four year-old joyful and silly Pit Bull.
MSW Social Work Smith College School for Social Work 2006
B.A. Politics and African American Studies Mount Holyoke College 2004
Ph.D. Social Work University of Connecticut Current Student
Area(s) of Expertise
Reproductive oppression, women's health, and violence against women; Police militarization, prison industrial complex, and race; Women, politics, and race; Social justice pedagogy, engaged learning, and democracy in social work education and practice; Women's leadership; Education policy and reform.