Jess McDonald (they/them/their) is an educator from Morehead City, North Carolina, with a passion for working with youth in the South around issues of power, privilege, and oppression. They hold an M.Ed. in Social Justice Education from UMass Amherst. Jess is committed to building community across difference, centering self-awareness, and encouraging reflection as a part of transformative education.They have put their expertise in facilitating intergroup dialogue to work as an instructor at UMass Amherst and North Carolina Governor’s School East.
Prior to graduate school, Jess served LGBTQIA college students across the country as the Media, Communications, and Programs Manager at Campus Pride. Some of their writing can be found in the anthology A Critical Inquiry Into Queer Utopias and the Honors Theses Collection of the Elon University Belk Library Digital Collections. Jess is currently a Tzedek Social Justice Fellow working at Our VOICE focused on prevention education and outreach to LGBTQ+ communities.
They believe that social justice education is a key component of creating a world with healthy relationships that are free from sexual and gender-based violence. Their work follows in the rich legacy of Southern organizers resisting white supremacy and gender oppression while striving to redefine concepts like home and family in the spirit of resilience and liberation.They are most at home in Durham, scouting local swimming holes and fine-tuning their amateur dog whispering skills.