Jess McDonald

Social Justice Education, Youth Leadership Development, and Program Coordination in North Carolina

Jess McDonald is an educator from Morehead City, NC, with a passion for working with people and organizations around issues of power, privilege, and oppression. They hold an M.Ed. in Social Justice Education with a focus in intergroup dialogue from UMass Amherst. Jess lives in Durham, NC, where they work as the Advocate Program Coordinator at the Community Empowerment Fund. Previously, they served as the 2016-2017 Tzedek Social Justice Fellow at Our VOICE in Asheville, NC.

Jess is committed to building community across difference and centering self-awareness as a part of transformative work to undo systems of oppression. 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 on staff at Campus Pride. Some of their writing can be found in A Critical Inquiry into Queer Utopias and the Honors Theses Collection at Elon University.

Jess's 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.

  • Work
    • Community Empowerment Fund
  • Education
    • University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • Elon University