Carmen Brewton Denison is a writer, educator, artist, and activist who resides in Portland, Oregon. She currently serves as the Executive Director at racial justice and educational equity-focused non-profit organization, Campus Compact of Oregon. In this role, she supports the development and implementation of racial justice programming in partnership with 2- and 4-year colleges and universities, K-12 schools, government, and nonprofit entities across the state of Oregon. She also coordinates, designs, and facilitates Campus Compact of Oregon's policy and community engagement initiatives with campus and community partners in Oregon and across the country. Beginning her career as a visual artist, Denison’s early work drew heavily upon histories of social intervention, anti-colonial and anti-racist pedagogy, and Black Feminist critique. Denison’s practice led to non-profit work with the co-founding of the Creative Activism Lab in 2013 with an Innovation Award from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. From there, Denison went on to work with the Portland Community College Community-Based Learning department to support community engagement methodologies that center critical race theory and community wisdom.
Denison has worked on collaborative projects that have focused on issues of homelessness/housing, prison abolition, environmental justice, international feminisms, labor, and youth empowerment. As a teacher and facilitator, Denison supported the development of interdisciplinary and socially engaged-programming in Marylhurst University’s art department, where she taught critical theory and interdisciplinary thesis research and writing. She currently works with students in Portland State University’s University Studies Program and Pacific Northwest College of Arts Critical Studies Program where she designs, facilitates, and teaches applied theory curriculum.