Jenna was born and raised in Edmonton, on Treaty 6 Territory. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Alberta, majoring in political science and minoring in international studies. During her time at the U of A, she had the opportunity to do two exchanges abroad, as well as travel to El Salvador as part of Students for Sustainable Housing, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. After university, Jenna took part in the Reflections on Rwanda Program, an educational program that provides students and young professionals the opportunity to travel to Rwanda and meet with genocide survivors, rescuers and representatives from government, community, and international peace-building organizations to learn about the impacts of genocide on society and reconciliation efforts. Through these travel and volunteer initiatives, Jenna was exposed to the vast inequity that exists between countries and within countries and became highly critical of the ways in which current and past colonizers respond to these inequities. This spurred an interest in development studies, with a focus on exploring the ways individuals can assist abroad to empower communities to meet their own needs rather than creating systems of dependency and reliance—she’s still thinking about this.
Currently, Jenna is trying to dismantle the system from the inside out, as she works as a policy analyst in the Ministry of Children’s Services. This work has further ignited her passion to focusing on issues of anti-oppression, decolonization, and reconciliation, and thinking about how empathy fits into all of this. When she’s not catching up on the Sunday links from her favorite Canadian feminist magazine—GUTS—she’s probably drinking a coffee or beer with a friend, out for a run, listening to some tunes or a podcast, or a combination of all three.