Salon Series: A Conversation with Author Ethan Zuckerman
April 8, 2021
From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, and from cryptocurrency advocates to the #MeToo movement, Americans and citizens of democracies worldwide are losing confidence in what we once called the system. How should we engage in public life when neither protests nor elections bring about lasting change? In Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them, author Ethan Zuckerman explored how Americans can use their skepticism to resurrect, reform, or outright replace the institutions that no longer serve them. In conversation with Princeton political scientist Omar Wasow, he offered a guide for new ways to participate in civic life.
This event was produced in partnership with New York University's John Brademas Center and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.
Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the Center for Civic Media, MIT; and, Associate Professor of the Practice, MIT Media Lab
Ethan Zuckerman is director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, and an Associate Professor of the Practice at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on the use of media as a tool for social change, the role of technology in international development, and the use of new media technologies by activists. He is the author of Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection (W. W. Norton, 2013).
With Rebecca MacKinnon, Zuckerman co-founded the international blogging community Global Voices. It showcases news and opinions from citizen media in more than 150 nations and 30 languages, publishing editions in 20 languages. Through Global Voices and through the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where he served as a researcher and fellow for eight years, Zuckerman is active in efforts to promote freedom of expression and fight censorship in online spaces.
In 2000, Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, a technology volunteer organization that sends IT specialists to work on projects in developing nations, with a focus on West Africa. Previously, he helped found Tripod.com, one of the web's first "personal publishing" sites. Zuckerman blogs at ethanzuckerman.com/blog. He received his bachelor's degree from Williams College, and as a Fulbright scholar, studied at the University of Ghana at Legon.
Omar Wasow, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University
Omar Wasow is an Assistant Professor in Princeton’s Department of Politics. His research focuses on race, politics and statistical methods. His paper on the political consequences of the 1960s civil rights movement was published in the American Political Science Review. His co-authored work on estimating causal effects of race was published in the Annual Review of Political Science. Before joining the academy, Omar was the co-founder of BlackPlanet.com. Under his leadership, BlackPlanet.com became the leading site for African Americans, reaching over three million active users a month. Omar also worked to demystify technology issues through regular TV and radio segments on programs like NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s American Morning and public radio’s Tavis Smiley show. Similarly, Omar tutored Oprah Winfrey in her first exploration of the Net in the 12-part series ‘Oprah Goes Online’.
In 1999, as a result of his active participation in a number of social issues, particularly the charter school movement, Omar was selected to be a fellow in the Rockefeller Foundation’s Next Generation Leadership program. In fall 2003, Omar helped co-found a K-8 charter school in his hometown of Brooklyn. In 2007, in recognition of the promise of his academic research, the National Science Foundation selected him for a Graduate Research Fellowship. Most recently, the Aspen Institute selected him for the Henry Crown Fellowship. He received a PhD in African American studies, an MA in Government and an MA in Statistics from Harvard University. He received his BA from Stanford University. He can be reached on Twitter @owasow or owasow-at-gmail-dot-com.
The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists presents an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us. The Salon Series is made possible by NYU Washington, DC through the collaboration of NYU schools, departments and centers, as well as through special relationships with selected external organizations.
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