René Guo (they/them) is an accomplished professional serving as the assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Kenyon College. In this role, they oversee Unity House and lead various initiatives aimed at promoting inclusion and equity for individuals of all sex and gender identities. René serves as a vital link between students and key campus offices.
Hailing from rural Hunan, China, René's personal background is shaped by their family's experiences. Their family was internally displaced by the Henan famine of 1942 and went through the tumultuous years of revolutions in Chairman Mao's home province. None of René’s family members had access to a high school education, making them a first-generation student. Despite these challenges, René graduated Summa Cum Laude from Denison University, majoring in political theology. Their honor thesis delved into the intersection of Black liberation theology and the issue of mass incarceration. Throughout their undergraduate years, René actively engaged with organizations such as the Open House for Religious and Spiritual Life, the Black Studies Center and the Department for Gender and Sexuality Studies. They also interned for non-profit organizations in Flint, Michigan, during the water crisis, providing support and resources to individuals affected by structural and environmental racism.
René's educational journey continued at Yale Divinity School, where they graduated in 2021. They received a diploma in Congregational ministry from Andover Newton Seminary. René's scholarly interests revolve around the complex interaction between religion, culture, and systems of oppression. They received recognition for an award-winning essay on Chinese American theological realism, which explored the structural competition between China and the United States from a postcolonial perspective. René also served as an Assistant Minister at the Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ, the world's oldest formally recognized African American Congregational Church, during the summer of 2019. Their intersectional ministry efforts were acknowledged with the prestigious Jonathan Edwards Prize for Christian Ministry at the intersection of faith and intellect, named after one of America's most influential theologians.
Returning to Ohio, René is delighted to be back in the heart of the United States. Outside of work, they pursue various interests, including weightlifting, cooking and playing Nintendo Switch games. René's multifaceted background, academic achievements, and passion for social justice make them a dedicated advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion at Kenyon College.
2021 — Master of Divinity from Yale University
2021 — Diploma of Congregational Ministry from Andover Newton Seminary
2018 — Bachelor of Arts from Denison University, Summa Cum Laude