Emma Arnesty-Good
PSU – School of Social Work, Research Assistant

Emma believes in collective liberation. As a result, her path has been circuitous. Originally hailing from the Mission district in San Francisco, CA, Emma crossed the country to attend Tufts University in Boston, only to return to the West each summer for a season of guiding trips down wild rivers, each with its own foreboding canyon name: Mule Creek, Impassable, and Desolation. This annual migration delayed any thoughts of office jobs or career planning. Thank God. Instead, it deepened her connection to the natural world and strengthen her ethic of stewardship for the land.

Emma’s work as a guide also informed her studies. Graduating with a degree in American Studies, and a concentration in Health and Environment, Emma gained a critical framework for understanding environmental inequity and injustice. Applying these skills, Emma spearheaded the launch of an educational enrichment program with the Mystic River Watershed Association that brought local environmental science and stewardship curriculum to six public school districts in the urban watershed. Terrified by the 2016 election and what it meant for reproductive rights, Emma also became involved with Planned Parenthood as a Health Center Advocate, collecting stories and support from patients in the waiting room of the clinic.

Five years of Boston winters was enough for Emma, and she moved to Portland on a whim (and a family she took down the river kindly offered to house her). Seeking to reconnect with her passion for reproductive rights and gender-based work, Emma volunteered as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate with the Multnomah County DA’s office. In her role, Emma responded to assaults at local hospitals, providing support to survivors of sexual assault throughout their physical examination and police report. Emma’s move to Portland spurred her involvement in the Portland co-counseling community, a grassroots peer-counseling community that attempts to heal from oppressive systems.

As a young, passionate professional, Emma is currently working as a research assistant for a PhD Candidate at the PSU School of Social Work, who is investigating the experiences of sexual harassment and assault survivors in the military and the social, political, and institutional environments that permit gender-based violence to occur. Emma’s role in the research gives her plenty to consider while working as a Sexuality Education Fellow for the Oregon Department of Education where she helps to equip teachers with the skills and knowledge needed to teach comprehensive sexuality education in K-12 classrooms. As a volunteer with Planned Parenthood’s Leadership and Advocacy Team, she uses her knowledge and skills to organize for ongoing political education.

When she’s not nursing the many progressive issues she’s passionate about, Emma enjoys reading fiction (and sometimes writing it), running, and making sloppy art projects.