About Jenn

Jenn M. Jackson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.  Jenn’s research interests include Black Politics, social movements, news media, and gender & sexuality.

In her dissertation, Jackson investigates the political ideas and outcomes of recently formed social movement groups and their influence in shifting public discourse toward the margins. Methodologically, she utilizes quantitive analysis of survey data, computationally-coded news media content, and qualitative analysis in the form of interviews and case study method to answer critical questions concerning the emergence of social movement organizations and their impacts on the mainstream public sphere.

Jenn and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry

As a recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, Jenn is a 2017-2018 Urban Doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago, a 2017 Women of Color Leadership Project inductee with the National Women’s Studies Association, and was a 2016-2017 APSA Minority Fellow. She was also awarded a research fellowship from the CSRPC for her Master’s Thesis titled, “Black, Violent, Newsworthy? Crime, News Frames and Black Americans in the United States.” She is the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 recipient of the Edith Heller Juda Scholarship,  an award given to highly motivated students at the University of Chicago who have demonstrated a personal commitment to social and economic justice for all people and who have indicated their intention to dedicate themselves and their professional careers to the pursuit of these fundamental objectives. For the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, Jenn serves as a co-facilitator for the American Politics Workshop in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

She is a highly sought after writer whose written work has appeared at Washington Post,  Teen VogueThe Root, EBONY, Marie Claire, Daily Dot, The Independent, and many others. She has also appeared on WGN and Chicago Tonight to discuss issues of race and class inequity, police reform and violence against young Black people, and tactics for action against the continued disinvestment in communities of color. Jenn has spoken at many conferences about Black Feminist scholarship and race politics in the United States including the 2016 National Women’s Studies Association Conference, and the Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture (CSRPC) Teach-in on Race in the Academy, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) 20th Anniversary Symposium, both housed at the University of Chicago.

Jenn and Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Network

Jenn is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She co-runs the award-winning race and culture platform Water Cooler Convos. Jenn is the co-host of the That Black Couple podcast, an honest look at Blackness, culture, and adult life. She is also the founder and CEO of The Worth Campaign, a nonprofit committed to empowering young Black women and girls. Here she writes about social issues and pop culture.

Jenn earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern California with a minor in Sociology. She went on to earn an MA with honors in Political Science from California State University, Fullerton where she later taught Political Science Research Methods and Black Politics.

Through her research and teaching in the academy, her advocacy as an instructor of Chicago-area high school and college-aged students, and her journalistic work through the written word, Jenn seeks to disrupt the status quo which demands silence from those who are most marginalized in society. In the traditions of women like Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, and Angela Davis, she is a firm believer that it is the job of Black women academics to make space and hold that space for the fullness of Black experiences especially in the Ivory Tower, social justice, and publishing realms.

Jenn is a proud native of Oakland, CA and new transplant to freezing temperatures of the Midwest.

For interview requests, speaking engagements, or other questions contact Jenn, here.