Lorraine Kenny is the Knight First Amendment Institute’s Communications Director. She previously served for many years as a communications and program strategist at the ACLU, where she worked on a range of issues, including reproductive freedom, religious freedom, LGBT rights, and women’s rights. In this capacity, Kenny led several messaging research projects and communications campaigns in support of abortion rights, comprehensive sexuality education, and marriage equality. In 2013, she became the ACLU’s first Associate Director for Communications and Marketing, leading a multi-year rebranding project that focused on engaging members and activists as the key to the future of the organization and the fight for civil liberties more broadly.
Prior to working at the ACLU, Kenny was a visiting professor in the Anthropology Department at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, where she taught seminars in the anthropology of race, visual anthropology, and feminist cultural theory.
Kenny has a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago. She has published numerous articles and is the author of Daughters of Suburbia: Growing Up White, Middle-Class, and Female, an “autoethnography” focused on the lives of teenage girls at a Long Island, NY, middle school. The book examines how standards of normalcy define gender, exercise power, and reinforce the cultural practices of whiteness.