Jen Sandler is Director of the UMass Alliance for Community Transformation, where she works collaboratively with undergraduate students, graduate students, and community organizer colleagues across the northeastern U.S. to teach and practice critical relational approaches to social justice. Jen also helped to develop the department's Community Engaged Research and Practice MA Concentration, and has taught theory and methods courses that serve this concentration.
Jen studies diverse social and institutional change projects in the United States, and has published chapters and journal articles on U.S. municipal reform coalitions, evidence-based policy advocacy, parent and community power in public education, community-engaged critical pedagogies, popular education in Mexico, and meetings as under-recognized sites of collective agency and sense-making.
Jen is committed to meaningful collaborative practices as a teacher, researcher, and politically engaged person. In addition to her ongoing pedagogical collaborations with community organizers through UACT, she currently collaborates with grief support programs as part of a research team through REACH Institute at Arizona State University; with UACT alumni and other professional trainers through The STOKE Collective; with an international Meeting Ethnography network that she has co-developed since 2013; and with local parents and educators in her child’s public school district.