Jen Sandler, PhD

Jen is a restless nomad currently living in Easthampton, MA. She is fortunate to spend most of her time teaching, co-facilitating, reading, writing, supporting people doing social change work, and parenting. Jen brings more than twenty years of community-based education and organizing experience to Stoke. As a young person she became invested in the notion that people could only transform power and structural violence in sustainable ways if they could think and learn together. She was part of a lot of projects toward this end — among artists and pushed-out young people, local workers and liberal arts college students, young organizers from communities of color and the mentors they needed, parents and the public institutions that are supposed to serve their families. While Jen pursued a Ph.D. in order to learn about how power operates in U.S. and Latin American activist landscapes, she found even more important guidance along the way: in the techniques and theories of community-based popular educators, in compassionate and strategic engagement with a broad range of world-changers, and in how to live a grounded scholar/activist life. She has conducted ethnographic research and teaching partnerships with community organizing groups, advocacy organizations, applied social scientists, and civic reform coalitions in twelve different cities over as many years. Meetings are the only constant across all her endeavors, and she is fairly obsessed with them as both scholar and practitioner. Jen is the Director of UACT and Lecturer in Anthropology at UMass Amherst.