I am a scholar, activist, and communications consultant for non-profit organizations. My work experience and research interests place my work at the nexus of global Black identity, cultural memory, and social justice.
Who am I?
First and foremost, I consider myself a storyteller. I have always loved hearing, reading, and sharing stories. This led me to pursue a doctorate in English literature at the University of Maryland, College Park. I specialized in 20th and 21st-century African American and Black diaspora literature with research interests in cities, cultural memory, socio-linguistics, and global Black identity.
My dissertation “The Unhealed Wound: Black Diaspora Literature and the Continuing Memory of the Duvalier Dictatorship” traverses national borders, politics, and disciplines; I investigate how memory, history, and literature intersect and shape physical and imaginary cityscapes of New York, Port-au-Prince, and Paris in contemporary Black narratives. I argue that for Black writers, across the diaspora, the memory of the Duvalier dictatorship serves as a crucial symbol of unhealed Black trauma. The authors I examine use the dictatorship to incite further discussion of Black migrant city dwellers’ struggles with issues of migration, violence, alienation, and survival.
I am currently at work on a book-length manuscript that expands on these ideas. I have published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Haitian literature and culture. Please check out my writing page to see them. Read more
In the years that I worked on my degree, I picked up a host of skills and titles along the way. I have worked as a: researcher, editor, content writer, communications director, presenter, database manager, curriculum developer, board member, tutor, advocate, master snack and lunch orderer to name a few. My skills include: fluency in French, creative writing, problem solving, editing, fundraising, office administration, team building and teaching. Whether leading the charge or just providing support–I am happy to ask the right questions to get the work done and problems solved.
My name isn’t Toni Childs, but I specialize in results. Pop by my public policy page to see some of my recent work around community engagement and policy. Read more
The best teachers are life-long learners; I consider myself a student of the world. I love to travel and collect new and different experiences that reshape my understanding of reality. I am continuously learning, picking up new skills, and participating in professional opportunities that can be shared with students and other members of my community.
To read more about how my research translates into teaching and the courses I’ve taught–Read more here