Alisha Ramos: Embracing My Mixed Race, Hybrid Identity

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This piece was originally published in my weekly newsletter on mixed race, Mixed Feelings.


In high school I was president of the Asia Club for two years. The club had members from various Asian backgrounds such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian. We were the crown jewel of every international/cultural event or competition at our public high school in suburban North Carolina. We would really bring it—from colorful dance performances to amazingly delicious, aromatic foods. Everyone knew the Asia Club was a force to be reckoned with, and I was damn proud of that little club for those two years. Read More

Lauren McCarthy on Building an Inclusive Open Source Community for Creators

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What I appreciate most about being an artist is the community. While some might imagine the lone artist toiling in their studio, what I have experienced is artists coming together on the internet and in-person, sharing ideas and questions, and finding ways to work together. One way this happens is through the creation, modification, and sharing of tools for artmaking. Read More

Michelle Kumata on Empowering Community Voices

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My involvement in the Asian Pacific American (APA) community started in high school. I had attended public school through junior high, and then by chance, received a scholarship to a small private school. It was a shock to go from a diverse school that was one-third Asian, one-third black and one-third white, to an affluent, majority white school. I didn’t connect with the curriculum or the environment. I didn’t have the same interests or values as my classmates. I felt tension, resentment and isolation, and I needed to feel a part of something. Read More

Hajj Flemings on The 100 Project–The Plan to Rebrand Detroit

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Photo by Shawn Lee Studios

Detroit’s future requires connecting the worlds of design, technology and innovation to neighborhoods.” 

In 2011, I was one of eight entrepreneurs selected for the CNN’s Black in America 4: The New Promised Land Silicon Valley documentary with Soledad O’Brien. It was during the filming of that documentary that I was exposed to the term meritocracy and how the lack of access in the technology space was creating a permanent underclass in communities of color. It literally changed the course of my life. Read More

Burak Arikan on Civic Data, the Foundational Tool to Fight Abuses of Power

Burak-Arikan-bio-2Big data is the term used to define the perpetual and massive data gathered by corporations and governments on consumers and citizens. When the subject of data is not necessarily individuals but governments and companies themselves, we can call it civic data, and when systematically generated in large amounts, civic big data. Increasingly, a new generation of initiatives is generating and organizing structured data on particular societal issues, from human rights violations to auditing government budgets, from labor crimes to climate justice. These civic data initiatives diverge from the traditional civil society organizations in their outcomes, in that they don’t just publish their research as reports but also open it to the public as a database. Read More