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Kellen Cooks

Collaborating URS Researcher

Kellen was born in Bridgeport, CT, and raised in Ossining, NY. He still calls the Hudson Valley home, and the region is the focus of his undergrad thesis, which revolves around how speculative narratives have shaped the identity of the Hudson Valley from the past to the present, and how environmental speculations influence the region’s future through their collective imagination and their development and governance structures. In this exploration of spatial narratives, he is developing a curriculum kit and plan alongside the Just Places Lab that utilizes creative mapmaking to represent Hudson Valley teenagers' present understandings of their community, and dream of their community's future.

During his time at Cornell and after, Kellen would like to dream alongside communities about equitable and decolonial futures, and work towards making those dreams a reality within their landscape, especially with communities who often lack the privilege to turn their spatial dreams into a reality. This career goal could translate into housing policy and justice work, high school teaching, getting a PhD, community organizing, or politics. He is not quite sure yet, and wants to keep himself flexible as he explores career pathways focused around spatial justice. 

In his free time, Kellen likes singing R&B and Indie music, exploring new and familiar places, hanging with friends and family, reading sci-fi, and watching his beloved Knicks. 

boy smiling

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