I am a lyrical-non-fiction-writer, spoken-word-prose-poet, innovative-equity-culture-strategizer, & humxn-centered-operations-understander. I claim the monikers of Southern, Progressive, Queer, Feminist, & Single Mom, with the order depending on the day & the audience. I craft + curate words, events, brands, & spaces that are intentional, intersectional, & innovative.
For over a decade, from creating to convening and curating to critiquing, I have infused strategy, storytelling, & design into the work of shifting culture, rethinking activism, & creating collaborative movements rooted in gender justice, economic justice, racial justice, sexual justice, fat justice, & climate justice.
I believe the world can be changed through art and music and long nights on porches that involve too much beer and conversations that start closer to the time the sun comes up than when it goes down.
I love all the good stuff that comes with being a southerner, like knowing my neighbors, eating biscuits + banana pudding.
My heart + soul live in the southeastern part of the United States, and I'm eager to be part of the various movements to create real change in the place I love so dearly. Until that opportunity arises, I'm traveling the country with #OlivethePug, and we have stayed (at least one night) in 13 states this year, while traveled through an additional 20 - seeing (at least from the car window) almost 70% of the continentail U.S.!
I am a maximalist, which leads to long prose and an excess of eco-friendly products and wallpaper. It also provides the roots of my belief in abundance for all.
multidiemensional. feminist. southern. soulful. progressive. pragmatist.
queer single-mom healing from life as cult-church royalty.
living to incite a revolution that topples systems, not people.
word generator • story creator • idea launcher • brand innovator
working to create brands that empower humxnity, not patriarchy
For the past decade, I have worked for, advised, and partnered with devoted digital darlings, conscious tech pushers, modern activist communities, forward thinking executive directors, and hyper local dreamers, who all see the world the way it could be, as well as, the way it is.
Together we are co-creating apps, communities, events, brands, spaces, revenue streams, and solutions rooted in gender justice, economic justice, racial justice, sexual justice, fat justice, and climate justice.
In the fifteen years preceeding this, I worked for a number of nonprofits advocating for gender justice, reproductive rights, and HIV awareness and funding.
I'm launching a collaborative writing project, called nuance, that seeks to create connection via exploring the various understandings we have of core humxn words and feelings.
I'm writing and shopping a memoir that is a mix of prose, prose-poetry, lyrical nonfiction - the words better shared with a mic and the text as interesting visually as it is linguistically. Above all, it is a story of the American search for identiy and community told through the stories of my journey from cult-church royalty to a queer, progressive southern, feminist, single mom and writer.
I'm on a mission to read (or listen to the authors read) as many memoirs as I can, written by people of color and queer people. To see what I've read, read ocassional reviews, and get your own copies, click here.
Creative Enlightenment (Medium)
The Gift of Space Without Isolation, July 2021
Finding My Work, August 2021
Work, Wellness, & the Future of Having Our Freedom, January 2021
What's With That Weird Spelling - Womxn?, May 2020
Conscious Company Media (SOCAP Global)
The Power of Innovation, September 2020
The Intersection of Activists, June 2020
The Wisdom of Womxn: Bold Insights from World Change, January 2020
Conscious Financing Has the Power to Save Small Businesses, November 2019
Daily Haloha (Medium)
One Question a Day is Changing My Life, December 2019
The Perpetual You
You Are Not Alone: How Coworking Can Help Us Connect, (print) March 2018
The Kindred Voice
My Definition of Family, January 2019
My Modern Spirituality Journey, October 2017
The Courage To Leap, (print) November 2017
She is Fierce!
My Year of &, February 2017
Work as I say, Not as I Did, by Nicolás Forero (personal site), October 2021
People Like Us, by Adam Thomas for Datatheism (personal site), September 2021
What's Past Is Not Prologue, by Lyle McKeany for Just Enough to Get Me In Trouble, September 2021
How to Delegate Effectively, by Alex Azoury (personal site), September 2021
Foster's Lightweight Guide to Editing, (Contributor) August 2021
Creating a Bigger Social Wellness Movement, by Amy Giddon for Transformative Tech, July 2021
Embedding autonomy into company culture is next-level leadership – an interview with Vivian Chen, by Reza Cristián for The Rosie Report, September 2021
The power behind future successful DEI initiatives will come from autonomous workers, by Jessica Day for The Rosie Report, September 2021
Reasonable Requests Embracing the Autonomous Work Rebellion, by Felicity Bond for The Rosie Report, September 2021
How can we ensure the new work-from-anywhere-workplace actually works?, by Natalie Ruiz for The Rosie Report, September 2021
How can we ensure the new work-from-anywhere-workplace actually works?, by Amy Giddon, Press Release, January 2020
Needle Movers (no longer exists/ cross-posted on Medium)
Megan Falley: Poet, Activist, Needle Mover, July 2020
Dolly Parton: Singer-Songwriter, Beloved Icon, Needle Mover,
Copywriting & Blog Posting
Holding onto Hope, Central City Concern
Charlette's Story, Central City Concern
Interviews & Brand Features
Keren Flavell, Kasaba, August 2021
Sarah Symons, Her Future Coalition, January 2021
Dr. Vanessa Bouché, January 2021
Jennifer Moreau, World for Good, January 2021
SUSTAIN, the mag
Conscious Company Media (SOCAP Global)
Alex Diaz, COMMON Future, September 2020
Kimberly Hogate, Faceted Media, September 2020
Emily Weltman, CoFlow Consulting, September 2020
Lauren Duffield, xocial, July 2020
Dr. Christopher Marquis, Cornell University, June 2020
Dr. Christine McDougall, Syntropic, June 2020
Misty Castaneda, For Purpose Kids, May 2020
Will Stringer, Chisos, May 2020
Amanda Brotman, AMANDA PEARL, May 2020
Anya Ranganathan, Bad Apple Produce, May 2020
Eileen Gordon, Barnraiser, May 2020
Shaun Paul, Ejido Verde, May 2020
Mark Eckhardt, COMMON, May 2020
Conscious Company Media Cont. (SOCAP Global)
Judith Beserra, Sacred Mama Organics, April 2020
Peter Nelson, Threshold, April 2020
Tara Milburn, Ethical Swag, April 2020
Ryan Murphy, Huntsville Amphitheater, April 2020
Rachel DeCavage, Cinder & Salt, April 2020
Claire Pettibone, Madison Grace, April 2020
Rachel Kois, Simple Switch, April 2020
Keith Whittingham, Artifix Cafe, April 2020
Richard Averitt, Starchive, April 2020
Robyn Crawford, Eden Books, February 2020
✯ Hear Robyn's Interview on the hit podcast, The Only One in the Room, a result of this article!
Tré Seals, VocalType, February 2020
Rozella Kennedy, Brave Sis, February 2020
Sailaja Joshi, Mango & Marigold Press, February 2020
Constance Panton, Bifties, February 2020
Lourdes Perez-Ramirez, DuGudd, February 2020
Paul Kim, City College of New York, February 2020
Amy Giddon, Daily Haloha, January 2020
Jennifer Moreau, World for Good, January 2020
Beth Bell, Green Product Placement, January 2020
Jessica Day, IdeaScale, January 2020
Emily Charette, We Are Charette, January 2020
Cecile Gauthier, Lime Agency, January 2020
Melissa Barker, The Phoenix Project, January 2020
✯ Hear Melissa's Interview on the hit podcast, The Only One in the Room, a result of this artcile!
Jessica Yinka Thomas, B Academics, January 2020
Jenn Perry, Jelt Belt, January 2020
Sydney Badger of Public Habit, Afshan Abbas of Fuschia Shoes, & Sarah Cottee of Immi Watch, January 2020
Juliette Roy, Be Your Change, January 2020
skills & expertise
Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City
L.L.M. | 2010
Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston
Grad Cert: Womxn in Politics & Public Policy | 2005
Boston College Law School
J.D. | 2009
Simmons College, Boston
B.A.: Sociology; Womxn's Studies; Society & Health | 2003
HUBSPOT Certifications: Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, & Social Media
Numerous online courses including Marie Forleo's B-School, Trello for Business, Amy Porterfield's Course Creation, Thunder with Hillary Weiss, Firestarter Sessions with Danielle LaPorte.
Strategic Insights: utilizing communications strategy rooted in intersectional social justice, innovative best practices, and impeccable use of language + design
Impact Storytelling: using a mix of engaging anecdotes and enticing data in writing, public speaking, brand architecture, marketing campaigns, and organizational leadership
Content Curation + Creation: understanding when to use communication that is long form v. short form | visual v. audio v. written v. multi-media | delivered by founder v. team-member v. partner v. client content
Thoughtful & Humxn-Centered Leadership: ushering new generations of leaders to the forefront of forward-thinking solutions with equally strong interpsonal & analytical skills using specific-language based communication & engagement
Brand Reputation: upleveling brand perception & success via collaboration, partnerships, & transparent communications
MailChimp, Constant Contact, Substack, Tiny Letter, Hubspot Newsletters, Slack, Dropbox, G-Suite, Office, Canva, Craft, Notion, Carrd, Mighty Networks, Trello, Asana, Lisbon, HeySummit, AirMeet, MeetFox, & Zoom
AWARDS & NOTORIETY
• 2021 Judge for Annual Bell Ringer Awards; PR Club of New England
• 40 Under 40; Entrepreneur Night St. Augustine
• Arthur Mag Social Impact Fellow, Law. Capstone Project: Gender, Economics, Race, & the First Time Homebuyers Credit
• Wonder Womxn Award; Mass. Womxn's Political Caucus
Damn! You slayed it! Thank you for taking such care to produce something so compelling and helping our quixotic quest to change the future by elevating every individual's opportunity to see and share about their past.
poet + spoken word artist
Your words live beautifully on the page and in my ear - a glorious revolt lit with love.
Co-Founder: Chive Events
Working with LaKay was like working with an old friend. Even though we never actually met in person before our event, it felt like a real collaboration from day one. In sharing her vision for the guests' experience at a day long women in business workshop we were able to work together to create an entire day centered around growth, beauty and nourishment.
Founder: K.Dawson Co.
LaKay is an excellent event planner, from securing caterers & videographers to ordering all the necessary marketing materials & components of launching successful workshops. I was able to just show up at these events & know that she took care of everything. The attendees were more than impressed, from the quality of food & giveaway items, to the décor & ambiance of the space.
Founder: Daily Haloha
If you're looking for momentum, work with LaKay. She is masterful at distilliing things down to their essence of what matters - today.
She has brought Daily Haloha more visibility, consistently provides me with innovative ideas, & frequently connects the culture dots. She is more than a storyteller - she is a story creator.
Founder: Experimental Civics & Capsule Hack
LaKay encouraged me to find my voice & coached me through her questions to really go deeper into my why & past. LaKay has mastered honing in on all the details most writers skip to uncover powerful, untold stories. I loved watching her drafting process & her drive to achieve balanced perfection. Anyone who puts that amount of dedication into their practice is a valuable asset.
Founder: Coflow Collective
You have a truly powerful way with words. Thank you for summing up what I do and who I work with - better than even I could.
Writer & Spiritual Leader
LaKay has this powerful ability to create a vision and convey it to you in such a relatable, down-to-earth way that you become a part of that vision.
Co-Founder: Climate Designers & The Determined Studio
LaKay is the distinction between a marketer and a storyteller; a communications specialist. When marketers and sales people bring clients/members/attendees to your brand, she will make sure they are wowed beyond imagination. She'll make them want to stay.
Founder: COMMON Future
LaKay's passion is as boundless as her insistence on being part of the solution and building a better world. She does it with outstanding writing, like the profile she did on our firm. She has a great eye for angle, narrative and storytelling.
Dr. Christopher Marquis
Author & Professor at Cornell University
LaKay is a joy to work with and a strong writer and editor. She is a great storyteller and can take lots of disperate themes and ideas and weave them into a clear and coherent piece.
LaKay is a wizard with words and a truly dedicated changemaker and ideator. If she shares an idea with you, you have about ten seconds to decide if you are going to join her before she’s made a plan, tested it (at least in her head and through research), decided whether it’s something that can work, and picked out who should be part of it
starchive: voice & brand strategy
Starchive is a modern, funky digital asset management system, made by creatives for creatives. Their website style and language was more of a standard SaaS brand. I created a brand voice and updated the homepage content and created a ten-email drip campaign. I also did a brand refresh - helping them update their brand visuals on the homepage and other select web pages.
Storyteller Coffee: International Womxn's Day Special Blends Strategy
The founder of Storyteller Coffee approached me to create a strategy that would help him launch two special blend coffees for IWD. One blend would be from a farm owned by womxn and one from a farm where the womxn did all the roasting.
The Climate Designers Party Program: event desgin & messaging strategy
No more doom and gloom - that's the mission of the Climate Designers. They are on a mission to show the world that saving the planet can - and should- be fun! I partnered with them to create a two-week virtual event (their first ever!). I oversaw communications and porgramming, as well as participated in managing operations.
brand rosa: creating an umbrella brand
Rosa has been running three brands - two only by word of mouth, with no web presence. She came to me to figure out how to connect everything she is doing and position herself as a thought leader, while also increasing her impact. I created an Umbrella Brand, which we called, Brand Rosa.
⓵ Conduct two interviews, perform Brand Review and market research, and create Brand Strategy workbook, tailored to Rosa's needs.
⓶ Use Brand Strategy workbook and subsequent meetings with Rosa to create Umbrella Brand that houses all three previous brands, gives her room to grow, increases impact, captures her core values and message, and houses her thought leadership.
After sourcing fonts, colors, and style, I not only wrote the copy, but actually designed and built her website.
I created the "user jounrey" as a brand strategy map to help Rosa conceptualize what the umbrella brand would do.
The Climate Designers Party Program
Step 1: Create and present a complete program strategy and first draft messaging.
The founders were new to this type and scale of an event, but had created an idea of what they wanted to do based on wha they saw as gaps in existing design conferences. We had two phone calls and then I created a big picture program strategy that included language to be used in messaging and promotions.
They loved it, and we were off.
Step 2: Be sure all communications are in line with messaging goals and values of event and organization.
Almost from day 1, I created or reviewed everything that was sent out: call for speakers, topic ideas, blog posts, sponsorship deck, promotion + partnership emails, and social media posts.
The Change we seek provided the inspiration for the event
In 2019, I was hired to create a brunch awareness event for Florida for Good. It was imperative that the brunch embody the values of Florida for Good: sustainability, equality, & impact.
The theme was an old-time-southern-family-meal. We started with a staple of the south - biscuits - and expanded from there.
The goals were:
• to infuse elegance without increasing consumption or expense
• to serve comfot food that would make people feel at home
• to make each person attending feel special and thank them for running a values-based busienss.
the final touch: Fresh, local, beautiful food that didn't have to be kept warm
A moment of inspiration leads the whole project
In 2019, I was hired to upgrade a recently purchased RV and take from RV Decor to Tiny AirBNB. The owner had the following requirements:
• Florida Tropical
• as many local purchases as possible
I start design projects off with one item that becomes the North Star for the whole project.
In this case, it was this piece of art created by a local artist. As soon as I saw, it I knew that it had the right vibe for the project, capturing all three of the owner's desired elements: eco, local, & "Florida."
In a small space, the kitchen sets the tone
(a) wine glasses with green palm fronds in various shades bring in that true Florida feeling without being cliche & help ground the lighter, brighter colors of the other kitchen acessories
(b), (c) tropical themed plates with a gilded edge uplevel Florida kitsch & leave guests with the experience of a boutique hotel
(d) vintage juice glasses incorporate sustainability & remind everyone of happy mornings and abundant memories at grandma's house
(e) the oversized earthenware bowl blends sustainability & minimalism to balance the business of other pieces and channel that gorgeous Florida sunshine
The result is a bright, beautiful space inviting guests to lean into the lazy, St. Augustine vibe
As I stand at the corner selling my products, my program, my person -
hoping today is the day I make enough money
to feed my family
or save for retirement,
I am pushed against a tree by the mass of whiteness that surrounds me.
If I step away from the tree,
I will surely be engulfed by the mass and have no choice but to
fall in lockstep
with this amoeba of allegiance to the monsters who rule our land,
as it propels them toward a lavish ball.
Monsters – who perch on chairs made of moral endorphins,
which sit squarely on the poles made of the souls
of the potential of everyone they
have sucked dry.
Yes, I could step away from the tree and let myself be swirled away, for
Particularly when added to an identity casserole
that includes the occasional y’all and bless their heart
or Tim McGraw making me cry on a cool October night,
the largest organ of my body,
mistakenly tells many people
that I am on the side of the amoeba.
Would it be the worst thing?
I am so tired.
This is my moment of truth.
It would feel good to rest.
No – I’m not going out like that.
I WAS NOT PUT ON THIS EARTH TO REST.
I WAS BIRTHED TO MOVE MOUNTAINS.
And kill monsters.
Instead, I climb the tree.
And, as I sit in its branches,
I connect to the parts of me that aren’t seen;
the parts that put me in the group of
the parts that fuel my resistance.
As my eyes adjust to the stark contrast
between the sea of white below me
and the dark of night that surrounds me
I realize I am not the only person in a tree.
In fact, there are trees as far as my eyes can register
and each one holds a warrior in its branches.
Here we sit in our trees –
like the people standing at the tower of Babel
the day language was created;
the music from the ballroom too loud for us to talk over
and the trees too far apart for us to feel connected.
The monsters dance away, long into the night,
while the amoeba that supports them,
even to its own demise,
swirls below us,
ever spreading further and further through the land;
ever keeping us separate from each other.
I look around.
There are so many of us!
Surely our numbers are finally enough
that we can win this mess of a masquerade.
This is the moment that changes everything.
We the People have to get this part -
WE CANNOT WIN
BECAUSE WE DO NOT KNOW
THAT WE ARE ON THE SAME SIDE.
The monsters-in-charge have created a divide
that we have climbed into like a hammock.
We have pushed the Kool-Aid of
we are more different than the same
through the needle and
into the veins of our communities.
And each nod that follows that needle
and checks us into the high of REM
gets a little longer and a lot more pleasant.
And when the nod wears off and we are jonesing for our next fix,
we wear ourselves out
screaming as loud as we can,
or at least louder than the person in the next closest tree.
And this point in my tale is where I declare
that this is why
we are all still fighting for the same things
people who look like us,
people who hurt like us,
and people who struggle like us,
have been fighting for
longer than the oldest of us
has been around.
BECAUSE OUR STRUGGLES ARE UNIQUE,
WE BELIEVE THAT OUR FIGHT IS SEPARATE.
Our hearts and souls are blinded to the one fact that could unite us:
the true villains in our tragedies are always Capitalism and Patriarchy
and all of our problems -
however unique they are to our identities -
are always a result
of the systems
created by those monsters.
The monsters, however, have only one problem and one goal.
WE are their problem
and keeping us from transforming
from a one-celled organism that swallows
its pray, without ever slowing down,
as it moves freely through space and time,
into the Hydra we are called to be -
is their ONLY goal.
Hydra, a maligned womxn who refuses to be taken down by those in charge
and, every time one of those fuckers cuts off one of her snakeheads,
two more grow in its place.
Hydra, who, like the poet Nikkita Gill,
smiles and says,
I AM BOTH WAR AND WOMXN AND YOU CANNOT STOP ME.
This is not the time for not kumbaya or
people all over the world joining hands.
We are past the point of
love is all you need and the
day of pull your own chair up to the table
make your own damn table.
THIS IS SMACK DOWN ONE OF US AND TWO MORE WILL RISE IN THEIR PLACE.
Revolution, which can only come when
people are starving
and can no longer be satiated
by the rhetoric from the monsters in power.
Revolution, which can only succeed
when the number of people who realize
that the monsters are the reason they are hungry
than the number of people
they are hungrier
than everyone else.