Emma Robbins

Emma Robbins is the director of the Navajo Water Project, which provides infrastructure for Navajo families to access running water in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. The project is a part of the water nonprofit DigDeep.

Native American households face barriers to accessing running water. About 30% of families on the Navajo reservation don’t have running water, according to the project. Robbins joined the project after growing up in an area with a high concentration of water poverty. She is a Diné artist, and uses her work to raise awareness about the need for clean water across all Native American nations. She is also an Aspen Institute Health Communities Fellow. 

Robbins has been interviewed by the magazine Marie Claire about how Navajo women have been on the frontlines fighting COVID-19 and AZCentral on how the nation’s water shortage may exacerbate the virus’ spread.

Emma Robbins headshot

Location: Los Angeles, Calif. 

Expertise: Activism, environmentalism, water access 

Contact info:

Email: press@digdeep.org

Last updated: May 17,2020

Suyapa Portillo Villeda

Suyapa Portillo Villeda is an assistant professor in Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College. Her work broadly focuses on social movements in Central America with a focus on Honduras. In particular, Portillo’s research centers on the intersections between labor, gender, and race in workers’ lives in the history of the banana export economy in Honduras and Central America.

Since the coup d’état in Honduras in 2009, Portillo has served as region expert in the media to attest to conditions in Honduras and the rest of Central America. Her expertise has been cited by CNN, NPR’s Take Two, and The Huffington Post.

Suyapa Portillo photo
Assistant Professor in Chicana/o-Latina/o Transnational Studies, Pitzer College

Areas of Expertise: Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies, Labor, Gender, Ethnicity, Race, Honduras, Central America, History of Immigration and Migration in Central America, LGBTQ Community in Honduras

Location: Los Angeles, CA | Honduras

Contact Information:
Email: Suyapa_portillo@pitzer.edu
Twitter: @SuyapaPV

As Heard On KPCC’s Take Two: “Young Migrants From Honduras Fleeing Drug and Gang Violence”

Dior Vargas

Dior Vargas is an activist and spokesperson with expertise in mental health in communities of color. She is the creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project, a venture that aims to address the invisibility of people of color in media representations of mental illness. Vargas was the recipient of The White House Champion of Change for Disability Advocacy Across Generations award. She is located in New York, New York.

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Activist, Spokesperson and Creator of the People of Color and Mental Illness Photo Project 

Location: New York, New York

Contact Information:

Email: dior.vargas@gmail.com

Phone: 646-238-0447

Twitter: @DiorVargas

Website: www.diorvargas.com

Listen to Dior Vargas here:

Sarah J. Jackson

Sarah J. Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and faculty affiliate of the Department of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies at Northeastern University. Her research and teaching interests include the use of media and technology to represent racial justice and social movements, with a particular focus on the role of social media in activism. Her research on the use of Twitter by journalists and activists has been funded by the Knight foundation.

Jackson is also a faculty affiliate of Northeastern’s Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies program. Her most recent book, Black Celebrity, Racial Politics and the Press examines the relationship between race, celebrity protest and the media. Her commentary has been featured on PBS, Politico and NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

Sarah Jackson
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Faculty Affiliate of Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Northeastern University

Areas of Expertise: Communications, Media Studies, Technology, Gender Studies, Social Media, Politics, Culture, Social Sciences

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Contact Information:
E-mail: s.jackson@northeastern.edu
Phone: (617) 373-7874
Twitter: @sjjphd

Listen to Sarah Jackson here:

Ellen Oh

Ellen Oh is co-founder and President of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) a grassroots organization that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. A former attorney and college instructor, Ellen is also the author of the YA fantasy trilogy, The Prophecy Series, by HarperTeen, and the middle grade book The Spirit Hunters, to be released in 2017. She was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Notable People of 2014.

Ellen Oh
Author and President of We Need Diverse Books campaign

Areas of Expertise: Children’s Fiction, Social Activism through Literature

Location: Bethesda, MD

Contact Information:
Email: ello.echo@gmail.com

Heard on NPR Morning Edition: A Year Later, #WeNeedDiverseBooks Has Left Its Mark On BookCon

Added June 2015

Hisham Aidi

Hisham Aidi is a lecturer at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also currently a resident scholar at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

His research focuses on the politics of globalization, North-South relations and social movements. He previously worked as a consultant on UNDP’s Human Development Report and as a Global Fellow at the Open Society Foundation.

As a journalist, Aidi’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, Foreigh Affairs, The Nation and The New Yorker. He is the recipient of the Carnegie Scholar Award and the American Book Award of 201.

Aidi has written extensively about African and Afro-diasporan affairs for magazines including Africana, The New African, ColorLines.com and Al Jazeera. He has been a guest on WNYC’s Soundcheck and NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.

Hisham Aidi

Areas of Expertise: Politics of Globalization, North-South Relations, Social Movements, Immigration, Youth Movements in Europe, African and Afro-Diasporan Affairs

Location: New York, NY

Contact Information:

Email: ha26@columbia.edu
Phone: (212) 854-2584
Twitter: @UptownBerber

Heard on WNYC: Click here for a full list.

Soundcheck: ‘Rebel Music’: How Hip-Hop Became Part Of Muslim Culture