Keynote Speakers for the Our (Digital) Humanities: Storytelling, Media Organizing and Social Justice Conference

Saturday, April 21 7:15-9:15pm

Malkia A. Cyril is founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice (CMJ) and co-founder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, a national network of community-based organizations working to ensure racial and economic justice in a digital age.  Cyril is one of few leaders of color in the movement for digital rights and freedom. As a leader in the Black Lives Matter Network, they help to bring important technical safeguards and surveillance countermeasures to those across the country working to reform systemic racism and violence in law enforcement. Cyril is also a prolific writer and public speaker on issues ranging from net neutrality to the communication rights of prisoners. Their writing and comments have appeared in the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, TIME, Politico, the Huffington Post,, Essence Magazine, and dozens more, including four documentary films including The 13th by Ava DuVernay. Cyril is a Prime Movers fellow and winner of the Electronic Frontier 2016 Pioneers Award, the 2015 Hugh Hefner 1st Amendment Award for framing net neutrality as a civil rights issue, and the 2012 Donald H. McGannon Award for work to advance the roles of women and people of color in the media reform movement.

Juan D. González is an award-winning broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. A two-time winner of the George Polk Award, he is co-host of Democracy Now!, author of “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America,” and a founder of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He spent 29 years as a columnist for the New York Daily News.  Juan González’s research interests include journalism; mass media history; federal mass communications policy; history of Latinos in the United States; Puerto Rico-U.S. relations; immigration, race and labor relations; and the role of dissident movements in promoting social change. Since the 1970s, he has been a general reporter and columnist in newspapers, radio, and television – both commercial and alternative media. His areas of expertise have centered on urban affairs and investigative reporting, with a special focus on municipal land use and tax policies, public education, criminal justice, race relations, the trade union movement, immigration, and the Latino community.

One of González’s books, “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America,” has been used for more than a decade as a required text in nearly two hundred college Latino history and ethnic studies courses. A 2012 feature documentary based on the book (narrated by González) garnered several major documentary awards. In addition, the 2013 PBS Series “Latino Americans” featured interviews with him in three of its six segments. A more recent work he co-authored in 2011, “News for All The People: The Epic Story Race and the American Media,” is currently used in several college media history courses.

Before beginning his career in journalism, González spent several years as a Latino community and civil rights activist, helping to found and lead two national organizations, the Young Lords Party during the late 1960s, and the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights during the late 1970s.

Inducted into the New York Journalism Hall of Fame by the Deadline Club, the New York Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, along with former New York Times editor Max Frankel, Sixty Minutes Correspondent Leslie Stahl, and CBS and PBS host Charlie Rose, becoming the first Latino journalist to be so honored, 2015


Suzanne Snider is a writer, oral historian, and the founder/director of Oral History Summer School.

Her writing and audio projects have been published in The Guardian, The Believer, The Washington Post, Legal Affairs, and the Oakland Standard, as well as several anthologies and artist catalogs. After receiving an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University (2003) as a Hertog Fellow, she pseudonymously published a book with Grove Press, in 2004 (reprinted by Random House Japan 2005). She received a BA from Wesleyan University in English and Dance.

She has worked on numerous oral history and documentary projects as a consultant, trainer, and interviewer: for the New York Academy of Medicine, HBO Productions, the Center for Reproductive Rights, MoMA, Columbia University’s Center for Oral History, and the Prison Public Memory Project, among others. Her own oral history projects have addressed disappearing labor forces, rehabilitative medicine, parapsychology, and feminist presses. She is especially interested in designing social, participatory experiences around audio archives.

She serves on the advisory board of the Judd Foundation Oral History Project and of the Happy Ending Music & Reading Series.

She has taught at Columbia University, New York University, and the School of New Resources. Currently, she teaches at the New School University, and is completing a book about a divided commune in Middle America.