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

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

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

Sujatha Fernandes  is a Professor in the Departments of Political Economy and Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Sydney, which she joined in May 2016. Prior to this, she taught sociology for a decade at Queens College and the Graduate Center, at the City University of New York. Her research has looked at global social and labour movements, with an area focus on the Americas. She is the author of several books that include cultural politics in Cuba, urban social movements in Venezuela, and a memoir of global hip hop. Her latest book is “Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling,” published by Oxford University Press. In addition to her research, teaching, and media work, Fernandes has been an engaged scholar-activist, working with grass-roots social movements in Latin America and the US. While at the City University of New York, she led campaigns to win parental leave for university staff and to defend childcare for students. She also collaborated closely with the domestic workers movement, and she set up a Domestic Workers working group at the CUNY Graduate Center to promote activist campaigns and provide a forum for discussion and debate.

 

Suzanne Snider  is a writer, documentarian, and educator whose work is deeply influenced by oral history theory and practice. Her most recent projects have taken the shape of sound installation, essays, and archive design. In 2012, she founded Oral History Summer School, a cross-​disciplinary ​school in upstate New York with a mobile classroom that traveled, most recently, to Chicago, Providence and Kosovo (Pristina, Prizren).

Snider collaborates frequently with institutions and project teams including National Public Housing Museum, Kosovo National Library, Center for Reproductive Rights, the Prison Public Memory Project, Community Solutions, MoMA and the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.Her own oral history projects have addressed disappearing labor forces, rehabilitative medicine, parapsychology, and feminist presses (supported by the Radcliffe Institute/Schlesinger Library). Her writing/audio work appear in The Guardian, The Believer, Legal Affairs, and The Washington Post, along with several anthologies and artist catalogs.

Prior to her work with adult learners at the New School University (School of Media Studies, Eugene Lang College’s Journalism + Design program), she taught in the New York City public school system  and developed arts curriculum for visually impaired students at the New York Institute for Special Education. She served as a visiting lecturer at Columbia University (OHMA) in spring 2014. With support from the Yaddo Corporation and the MacDowell Colony, she is completing her first book, Communes of One.