About Jenn

Jenn M. Jackson is a scholar, educator, and writer whose professional and academic work rests firmly at the intersections of American Politics and race, gender, sex, and class. 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 doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. 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. Her dissertation work seeks to answer the question: how do we rebuild the Black Public Sphere? She focuses her multi-methodological work – including surveys and experiments, interviews, focus groups, and political history – on young Black women whose social identities locate them outside of the normative public sphere.

In addition to questions about the Black Public Sphere, Jenn conducts research on necropolitics (Black death), race and neoliberalism, Black Feminist Futures, and the politics that young people make.

Jenn and Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry

As a recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, Jenn is 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.

She is a highly sought after writer whose written work has appeared at Washington Post, The 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 is also the Managing Editor for BlackYouthProject.com, a platform dedicated to knowledge, voice, and action for the uplifting of Black millennial voices. She co-runs the award-winning race, culture, and Black Love blog Water Cooler Convos. Here she writes about social issues and pop culture. She is also the founder and CEO of The Worth Campaign, a nonprofit committed to empowering young Black women and girls.

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.

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.