Kenly Brown


I am an associate program officer and project manager at the Spencer Foundation where I serve as an internal grant reviewer across all of Spencer's major grant programs and as a project manager for Spencer's strategic work and events. My research draws on my interdisciplinary training in Black intellectual thought and humanist social science situated at the nexus of race, gender, and education. I am completing my book manuscript Subversive Dreaming: The Affective Lives of Black Girls in Alternative Schooling where I employ creative ethnography to capture how Black girls experience and share what it feels like to survive interpersonal and institutional violence as students enrolled in a California continuation school.

Prior to joining Spencer, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St Louis in the Department of African and African American Studies. During my time there, I founded and led the Black Girlhood Studies Lab housed in the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Equity where students and collaborators explored, centered, and supported Black girl life through research, community engagement, and mentorship. I earned a Ph.D. in African American and African Diaspora Studies with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from UC Berkeley. My research has been supported by the Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship and AERA Minority Writing Fellowship.