James is a PhD student in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice. They entered academia after many years practicing as a mental health counselor in high schools in South and East Los Angeles. Their decision to pursue a career in research is fueled by their own experiences in the limitations of micro social work and desire to affect change at larger scales. James uses the knowledges gained through on the ground clinical work to inform how they approach working with and understanding communities in their current research practices. James also centers their experience as a Black and Latine person growing up in low-income urban spaces within Los Angeles and how this creates a complicated and necessary insider/outsider dynamic within their research.