An Xiao Mina

An Xiao Mina works on program strategy and operations at Meedan, a technology non-profit that builds software for newsrooms and NGOs to improve the quality of information online. She’s an expert on digital creative culture and how memes influence protest movements and politics.

Internet memes have gone from silly image macros to salvos in cultural and political struggles. And that trend continues with the ongoing movement for racial justice following George Floyd’s death — see the memeification of arresting the cops who killed Breonna Taylor or the widespread use of Karen as a negative term for a privileged and racist white woman.

As the author of the 2019 book Memes to Movements: How the World’s Most Viral Media is Changing Social Protest and Power, Mina can provide context on the ways internet memes are shaping pop culture, politics, protest and propaganda.

Before joining Meedan, Mina was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a 2016 Knight Visiting Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She’s the co-author of the upcoming Hanmoji Handbook, which uses emojis to teach Mandarin Chinese, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and Hyperallergenic.

Mina has worked with The Civic Beat and China Residencies to create workshops and art exhibitions in spaces including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City and the Center for Media at Risk at the University of Pennsylvania.

Credit Jan Chipchase/Studio D Radiodurans (©)

Expertise: Digital creative culture, how memes influence protest movements and politics

Contact information:

Email: anxiaomina-berkman@protonmail.com 

Listen to An Xiao Mina speaking at the Data & Society Research Institute:

Last updated July 14, 2020

Tiana Epps-Johnson

Tiana Epps-Johnson is the executive director of the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life, which provides training and resources to local election officials. The center also maintains a nationwide dataset of election information, accessible by request, which can tell voters what’s on their ballot and who are their elected officials.

Epps-Johnson was previously a director at the New Organizing Institute, a progressive grassroots organization, where she helped local election officials publish standardized voting information. She has also worked on the Voting Rights Project for the D.C.-based Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. In 2018, Epps-Johnson joined the inaugural class of Obama Foundation Fellows for her work at CTCL. 

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Expertise: Election administration, election data, voting rights

Location: Chicago, Ill.

Contact information:

Email: tiana@techandciviclife.org

Phone: 650-796-4695

Twitter: @tianaej

Listen to Tiana Epps-Johnson give a TED Talk:

 

Last updated: March 2, 2020

Sharon A. Navarro

Sharon A. Navarro is professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She is an expert consultant on women in politics, race and American politics, and Latinx politics.

Her most recent publications include Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of the American Judiciary, Latinas in American Politics, Latino Urban Agency, co-authored Politicas: Latina Public Officials in Texas (2008), and authored Latina Legislator: Leticia Van De Putte and the Road to Leadership (2008).

Navarro also serves as a political advisor and offers seminars for Democrat and Republican Latina candidates running for office.

Sharon -Navarro

Areas of Expertise: Women in politics, Race and American politics, Latinx politics

Location: San Antonio, Texas

Contact Info:

Email: sharon.navarro@utsa.edu

 Phone: (210) 458-2547

She can be heard here:

Kat Calvin

Kat Calvin is the founder of Spread The Vote, a nonprofit organization that helps people obtain IDs for jobs, housing, medical care, and voting. She is an expert on voting rights. 

Calvin is one of the 2018 Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business and has been a Business Insider 30 Under 30.

She also runs CivicEquity, a new project pairing pro bono lawyers with the victims of unjustified 911 calls.

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Areas of Expertise: Voting rights, law, entrepreneurship

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Info:

       Email: kat@spreadthevote.org

       Twitter: @KatCalvinLA

She can be heard here:

Alvaro Bedoya

Alvaro Bedoya is the founding Executive Director of Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology. He is an expert on digital privacy issues. His most recent research focuses on how commercial data collection and government surveillance affects people of color and immigrants.

Prior to joining the Center, Alvaro served as Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and to then-chairman, Sen. Al Franken. In this capacity, he was the staff negotiator for significant portions of both the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan surveillance reform bill.

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Executive Director, Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology

Areas of Expertise: Legislation, National Security, Military, War and Peace, Privacy

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:
Email: amb420@georgetown.edu
Phone: (203) 464-7500
Twitter: @alvarombedoya

As Heard On NPR Weekend Edition Sunday: Police Facial Recognition Databases Log About Half Of Americans

Antoinette Sedillo-Lopez

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez is the executive director of Enlace Comunitario, a non-profit focused on alleviating domestic violence and developing healthy families in central New Mexico, specifically within the Latino population.  She is an expert on New Mexico politics,clinical legal education and family law. She is also a professor emeritus at the University of New Mexico School of Law, although she is currently focusing all of her efforts at Enlace.

While teaching at UNM, Sedillo Lopez also administered the Summer Law Institute, a program conducted by a group of law schools that provides law students the opportunity to learn about Mexican history, culture and law in Guanajuato, Mexico. Sedillo Lopez has authored several books and has won numerous awards including one from the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF).

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Executive Director of Enlace Comunitario 

Areas of expertise: New Mexico Politics, Family Law, Clinical Legal Education

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Contact Information:
Email: ASLopez@enlacenm.org
Phone:
(505) 246-8972, ext. 23
Twitter: @asedillolopez 

Heard on New Mexico in Focus from KNME-TV

Orlando Watson

Update: Orlando Watson now works in Strategic Development and News Partnerships at Facebook. His old bio is included below for posterity.

Location: Oakland, CA

Contact Information:

Twitter: @OrlandoWatson

Orlando Watson serves as a spokesman and Communications Director for Black Media at the Republican National Committee. He previously worked for Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, where he led the communications team and was the primary on-the-record spokesman, and for Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Watson is a skilled media spokesman who has made frequent appearances on MSNBC and Fox News. His work has been featured on BET.com, CNN.com, Roll Call and the U.S. News and World Report.


Spokesman, Communications Director for Black Media, The Republican National Committee

Areas of Expertise: Politics, Communication, Republican Party, Republican Strategy, Republican Politics

Featured on MSNBC:

RNC Does Damage Control After Inaccurate Tweet

Featured on Fox News:

Discussing GOP outreach on “The O’Reilly Factor”

Last updated August 27, 2020

 

Khalilah Brown-Dean

Khalilah Brown-Dean is an Associate Professor of political science at Quinnipiac University. Her research interests include the political dynamics surrounding the criminal justice system, especially as it relates to voting rights policies.

Before coming to Quinnipiac, Brown-Dean was the Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor of African-American Studies at Yale University. Her political commentary and analysis has been featured in a number of outlets including The New York Times, the American Urban Radio Network and WNPR’s “Where We Live” blog. Brown-Dean’s most recent book, Once Convicted, Forever Doomed: Race Punishment ad Governance explores how humans’ relationship to punishment impairs both the strength and function of American governance.


Associate Professor of political science, Quinnipiac University

Location: Hamden, Connecticut

Areas of Expertise: Criminal justice, voting rights, political dynamics, mass incarceration, public policy

Contact Information:
E-mail: john.morgan@quinnipiac.edu
Phone: (203) 206-4449 © or (203) 582-5359 (office)

Tammy Vigil

Tammy Vigil is a professor of communication at Boston University. Vigil’s research has included analyzing the language used in convention speeches made by presidential nominees’ spouses. Most recently she authored a book,  Connecting With Constituents: Identification Building and Blocking in Contemporary National Addresses. In the book, she studies former candidates convention speeches to better understand the relationship between candidate speeches and the way people vote. Vigil is located in Boston.

Professor of Communication at Boston University

Expert in: Campaign Rhetoric and Women as Political Communicators

Location: Boston, MA

Contact:

Phone: 617-935-9111

Email: Tvigil@bu.edu

Twitter: @trvphd

Hear Tammy Vigil speak:

Ankit Panda

Ankit Panda is an international affairs expert and senior editor at The Diplomat, an online Asian Affairs magazine.

He writes daily on politics, security, economics, and culture in the Asia-Pacific region, and hosts a podcast on Asian geopolitics. He is also a columnist on Asian security affairs for the South China Morning Post. He is often quoted in the media on matters ranging from North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear program to Chinese foreign policy.

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Senior Editor at The Diplomat

Areas of Expertise: Politics, Security, Economics, Asia-Pacific Region, Asian Geopolitics

Location: New York, NY

Contact Info:

Email: ankit@ankitpanda.com
Twitter: @nktpnd