I am a researcher, artist, educator, and cultural organizer born in Moscow, USSR and currently based on Lisjan Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). In my work, I bring together research, pedagogy, art practice, and community organizing in the pursuit of justice and collective liberation. Currently, I work as a Senior Research Associate at RISE Research & Evaluation. In May 2022, I completed my Ph.D. in UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Education (critical studies of race, class and gender; language, literacy and culture), with a dissertation titled Negotiating and Resisting Racialized Assimilation: Queer, Soviet Jewish Immigrants in the U.S., 1990s-Present.
My practice is rooted in my experience as a queer, white(ned) Soviet Jewish immigrant navigating contexts of colonialism and imperialism. Growing up as an immigrant, I intuitively learned to listen and pay close attention to others. Today, I leverage my curiosity, creativity, and critical inclination to intervene in systems of domination and collaborate on freedom-giving projects. These days, I am most often conducting research, writing, facilitating, consulting, and creating art. As a lifelong educator, I am especially interested in the process by which people connect, learn, create, and act in pursuit of justice.
I have initiated and led several collectives and participatory arts projects, including: Kolektiv Goluboy Vagon, a queer Soviet Jewish immigrant collective (founder and co-steward), Krivoy Kolektiv art collective (co-founder/co-steward), and Cuentos Para Dormir, a participatory arts/literacy project for deported parents organizing with DreamersMoms USA-Tijuana (founder/Artistic Director). I actively write on topics of Soviet Jewish diaspora from a decolonial and critical race perspective. In past years, I taught, developed curriculum, and managed arts programs for The Museum of Photographic Arts and The AjA Project, and taught high school English at Mission High School (SFUSD).