Leadership. Access. Equity.

A community leader

Andrea Jenkins has more than 25 years of public service experience as a Minneapolis City Council policy aide, nonprofit executive director and consultant, and Hennepin County employment specialist. She has lived in the Bryant neighborhood for 16 years.

From 2001 to 2003 and from 2006 to 2015 she served as policy aide to two different Ward 8 city council members, Robert Lilligren and Elizabeth Glidden. In that role she worked directly with ward constituents to address their needs and concerns, from public safety to property development proposals.

One of the highlights of her work as policy aide was the redevelopment of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue. In collaboration with a small group of organizers, she convened neighborhood residents and business owners with a goal of reimagining the intersection, which had for years been plagued by crime and blight. Ultimately the intersection has seen a tremendous renaissance, marked by arts initiatives and small business investments.

During her time as a policy aide she worked alongside Council Member Glidden to initiate and facilitate several other projects, including:

  • the development of the Seward Co-op Friendship Store, which brings good jobs and fresh food to the community

  • the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

  • One Minneapolis, One Read—a community-building project to address racial healing and understanding

  • The Trans*Equity Summit—a project to promote awareness and inclusion of the city’s trans and gender non-conforming communities.



A commitment to equity

Andrea has exhibited leadership in several nonprofits, educational institutions, and grant-making entities. Her past and present positions include:

  • chair of the board of directors, Intermedia Arts

  • vice chair, Metropolitan State University Alumni Board

  • board member, OutFront Minnesota

  • board member, PFund Foundation

  • board member, District 202

  • board member, Forecast Public Arts

  • grant reviewer for the Minnesota State Arts Board

  • grant reviewer for Forecast Public Arts

  • grant reviewer for the Trans Justice Funding Project

  • grant reviewer for the Bush Foundation

  • grant reviewer for the Minnesota Regional Arts Commission.


An Artist and a Scholar

Andrea is also an award-winning poet, writer, and performer. She has earned fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the Givens Foundation, and the Playwrights Center, among others. She has performed her original work in venues around Minnesota and the nation, including Pillsbury House Theater and the Walker Art Center. Her poems have been published in journals, anthologies, and chapbooks, and in 2015 she published a full-length poetry collection, The T is Not Silent.

Andrea is a well-known public speaker and has delivered keynote addresses on college campuses and at conferences throughout the country. In 2016, she delivered a TEDx Minneapolis talk at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota.

In 2015 Andrea became the first Oral Historian for the Transgender Oral History Project of the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN), a master’s degree in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester, NH), and a master’s degree in creative writing from Hamline University (St. Paul, MN).

A proud parent and grandparent, Andrea is also in a long-term, committed relationship.


In January 2017 Minnesota Originals, a program of Twin Cities Public Television, featured this profile of Andrea Jenkins. It focuses on Andrea's roles as a poet, an artist, and the oral historian of the Transgender Oral History Project at the University of Minnesota.