Yeshimabeit Milner is the Founder & Executive Director of Data for Black Lives. She started Data for Black Lives because for too long she straddled the worlds of data and organizing and was determined to break down the silos to harness the power of data to make change in the lives of Black people. In two years, Data for Black Lives has raised over $3 million, built a network of over 4,000 scientists and activists, hosted two sold-out conferences at the MIT Media Lab, changing the conversation around big data & technology across the US and globally.
As the founder of Data for Black Lives, her work has received much acclaim. Yeshimabeit is an Ashoka Foundation Fellow, an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow and joins the founders of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street in the distinguished inaugural class of Roddenberry Foundation Fellows. Yeshimabeit has a BA from Brown University and was recently made the Forbes 30 under 30 list for social entrepreneurs.
As Director of Research at Data for Black Lives, Jamelle Watson-Daniels is building a research strategy and agenda to uplift Black organizers/activists and establish a just standard for rigorous research development. She is crafting a vision for the role of Data for Black Lives in the fields of machine learning, algorithmic fairness/accountability/recourse, artificial intelligence, etc. Jamelle is a scientist, researcher and visionary from a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. With her interdisciplinary research experiences, Jamelle focuses on empowering and centering those most marginalized in the mission to use data as protest, accountability and collective action. Her personal research interests involve utilizing techniques from optimization, network modeling, data science, algorithmic fairness and more.
As a part of the five-year combined degree program, she graduated from Brown University with two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies. From initial conception to algorithmic deployment, Jamelle believes agency and power must be shifted from the hands of a few tech giants to the masses of people fighting for liberation. Director of Research
Tawana "Honeycomb" Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She is intricately involved in water rights advocacy, data and digital privacy rights education and racial justice and equity work. She is former director of the Data Justice Program at Detroit Community Technology Project, co-founder of Our Data Bodies, a convening member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, an anti-racism facilitator with Detroit Equity Action Lab, a Digital Civil Society Lab fellow at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and director of Petty Propolis, a Black woman led artist incubator primarily focused on cultivating visionary resistance through poetry, literacy and literary workshops, anti-racism facilitation, and social justice initiatives.
Akina (Aki) Younge is the Director of Policy Innovation at Data for Black Lives. Inspired by a future of collective joy, Aki has pushed for policies and practices to use technology and data as tools to support organizing for racial justice while confronting the history of their use as tools for reinforcing systemic racism. Her previous work spans many policy areas including school integration, housing, workers' rights and the future of work, and more. She believes that policy making happens not just at the lobbying meeting and in legislative text, it happens in our daily interactions and conversation. Her experience in publishing the website automating.nyc with her graduate school classmates (Deepra Yusuf, Elyse Voegeli, and Jon Truong) and her communities of the Ethical Tech Collective and the Design Justice Network have been foundational for her approach to policy making related to technology and data.
As Engagement Associate at Data for Black Lives, Linda is focused on connecting the work of D4BL to the public in new and exciting ways. Born and raised in New Orleans, LA, she is an activist, content creator, and undergraduate student at Stanford University studying bioengineering. Linda has been an activist since high school, when she held her school administration accountable for its neglect of its Black student body as well as its sexist rules and policies. As a student organizer at Stanford, she’s involved in many abolitionist, black feminist, and anti-imperialist efforts on campus, including the fight to departmentalize African and African American Studies.
Paul is a Research Associate at Data for Black Lives. Prior to working at D4BL, he worked as a Data Analyst at Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service. Paul also brings experience working as the Operations Manager at Avalon College Advising, supporting the social innovation portfolio at Emerson Collective, and developing his own entrepreneurial endeavors building socially responsible technology including peer support mental health apps to decrease stigma and solar powered poultry egg incubators to advance agricultural justice in Burkina Faso. He graduated from Stanford in 2017 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Research Associate
Data for Black Lives is a movement of activists, organizers, and mathematicians committed to the mission of using data science to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people. Our blog aims to provide insights into our work by highlighting our research, organizing, and policy updates across all branches of our organization.