Lena Tenney

Lena Headshot
Coordinator of Public Engagement

Lena Tenney joined the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in 2016 with the goal of advancing racial equity by equipping and empowering people to implement both structural transformation and individual advocacy through research-informed strategies.  Their interests include critical race studies, whiteness, adult learning, higher education, and public policy.  In their time at Kirwan, Lena has facilitated educational sessions for 30,000+ participants in 18 states and DC. Lena holds a Masters of Education and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies and History.  Formally trained in Intergroup Dialogue and in Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter, Lena has a background in inclusive education and coalitional activism work.  They are a founding member of two grassroots community activist groups that have sought to ensure legal protections for and institutional inclusion of LGBTQ individuals at the municipal and campus levels.  Lena previously served on the LGBTQ Student Success Task Force for The Ohio State University and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for TransOhio—a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for transgender individuals and communities.  They are passionate about dapper fashion, baking, social media, and their cats: Ruth Bader Ginspurr and Purrgood Marshall.

Links to Lena’s Work:

Webinar: "Why Is It So Hard to Talk About Race?"

Webinar: "What Does It Mean to be Anti-Racist?" 

Higher Ed Live Webinar: “Implicit Bias and Inclusive Language”

City of Columbus Women’s Commission Filmed Session: “Implicit Bias: Aligning Intentions & Outcomes to Achieve Pay Equity”

Vermont Public Radio Radio Segment: “How Do Vermont Schools Address Racism?”

Kirwan Institute Weekly Forums

Filmed Forum: “Watch Whiteness Work: From Academic Theory to Everyday Reality”

Filmed Panel Discussion: “What Does It Mean to Do Intersectional Work?”

Filmed Session: “Implicit Bias Past, Present, & Future: State of the Science 5th Anniversary Release”

Filmed Session: “Did They Really Just Say That?! Being an Active Bystander”

Filmed Session: “We Just Need to Pee: The Implicit Racial Motivations of Bathroom Bills”