Teaching and Advocacy

Jenn (left), Veronica Anderson (middle), and Tiffany Batiste (right) with 8 Black Youth Project Summer Fellows (Summer 2016)

Jenn frequently works with high school and college-aged students in the Chicagoland-area around topics of community-based research, social action, and school administrative reform. Below you will find a few of the courses and initiatives she has led:


Lose the Calculator: A How-To Session on Social Change and Community-Based Research

  • This 45-min lecture and interactive class session teaches high school aged students how to perform the basics of collecting data from stakeholders to answer important questions about social issues facing their communities.

Media, Data, and Public Opinion

  • In a 5-week, 60-hour long course, high school sophomores and juniors learn the fundamentals of connecting data research to written narratives. These students start from concept development focused on a particular issue facing their community then they consolidate and catalogue existing research on the topic and, finally, they apply basic calculations like ratios, averages, and frequency analysis to make key assertions about the ways these findings tell a particular story. Students are also taught the basics of pitching a news or editorial style article based on their findings, developing a coherent, publishable piece, and presenting their final work to others for feedback.

Digital Tools for Civic Engagement

  • Co-facilitated this discussion exploring how activists use and make sense of social media, previewing how to use video to explore social opportunities and concerns, analyzing the #SayHerName political campaign as a model that can be presented in the classroom, demonstrating how digital media tools can be studied and used in classrooms, and investigating how digital tools can be utilized to teach civic engagement. The course was presented to roughly 60 Chicago Public School high school teachers and administrators.


Real-world Research Methods

  • High school students in this 6-week, 72-hour long course develop multi method research skills with a minimal standard for prerequisite math skills. The goal of this course of study is to introduce students to quantitative and qualitative methodologies, helping them to recognize these techniques in scholarly works, to replicate these techniques in their own work, and to reiterate these strategies among their peer groups.


Black Politics

  • This introductory course give college-aged students the opportunity to examine the relationship between Black Americans and the larger American political system. It is a broad surveying of the changing political framework as it pertains to Black leadership, empowerment, participation, representation and public policy. By exploring the origins of Black American politics, power struggles, and evolution of political thought, students will gain a comprehensive perspective of the political institutions which impact Black politics at both a macro and micro level. (Taught spring 2014 at California State University Fullerton)