Dr. Jennifer Tran, PhD (she, her, hers), is an educator, small business leader, and community organizer. Born and raised in Oakland, she is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees. She saw first-hand from her family and her community’s experiences that a lack of public support, particularly for Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander neighbors, left them vulnerable. This diverse life experience propelled Dr. Tran to pursue undergraduate degrees in Urban Planning and Ethnic Studies from UC San Diego and eventually, she went on to complete a Ph.D. from USC.
Dr. Tran has served as a leader in community organizations such as the East Bay Refugee & Immigrant Forum, Oakland Community Policing Advisory Board, Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation, New Leader Council, CSUEB Faculty Diversity and Equity Committee, and Oakland AAPI Unite Coalition. As the President of the Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, she worked to provide language access, mental health support, and culturally competent technical assistance to immigrant, minority, and women-owned small businesses, and successfully worked with the City of Oakland to recognize QTAPI (Queer Transgender Asian Pacific Islander) Week.
Dr. Tran is currently a Professor of Ethnic Studies at California State University, where she mentors first-generation, working-class college students of color like herself, stressing the urgency of applying theory into practice. Still a lifelong Oaklander, Dr. Tran resides in West Oakland where she can be found utilizing her fluent Spanish to help plan block parties, or participate in youth tennis camps.