Currently, Dr. Turner is CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) Fellow & Postdoctoral Associate for Data Curation in African American History & Culture, at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. She is also Adjunct Lecturer in History at Fayetteville State University. Described as an historian of U.S. education, Francena Turner says “I am most interested in historical and contemporary issues of equity, agency, and thriving in education. That is, I am interested in how we get into, through, and out of formal educational institutions whole and, in cases where we do not, I explore why. Through this work, I’ve developed an affinity for oral history methodology as a way to learn the stories of people who lived through various formal and informal social and education policies over time.”
Francena Turner describes her connection to the AAERO mission this way: “Our education is important to me because a thorough education can’t be taken from us. Once you know how to access & critically think through information, no one can stop you from feeding your mind. I also know that educational spaces can be sites of pain & othering us–regardless of age.” Dr. Turner has taught college classes that encourage critical analysis of education and work environments in light of race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, citizenship, language, and citizenship for over six years. She is the mother of three children. Her daughter, Epiphany, is an Elementary Education major at Methodist University. Her son, Jayvyn, is a high school Freshman, and her son, Jalen, is in the eighth grade.