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Your Phone Is Political

Session Type(s): Panel

Training Tag(s): Technology / Data / Innovation

Starts: Friday, Jun. 8 3:00 PM

Ends: Friday, Jun. 8 4:15 PM

Room: Ballroom D

Androids and iPhones are quickly becoming our primary gateways to the Internet. The ways that we organize political and advocacy campaigns, produce and communicate with our world depends on access to them and the broadband data connections they provide. But imagine livestreaming video from a protest and running up against data caps. Imagine planning out your next SMS campaign, and the phone companies telling you they don’t like the content. These threats to mobile freedom are real. As we fight for control over our mobile experience, it’s fair to say that your phone is political. This panel will discuss how the power dynamic between the carriers and the public is affecting our ability to communicate via mobile phones, why the progressive community must stand up for mobile freedom and how we can create better policies that protect us from wireless carrier abuse.

Watch live streaming video from freespeechtv at


Josh Levy


Josh Levy develops and implements Internet-based campaigns, programs and projects to encourage online activism, advocacy and fundraising. Before joining Free Press, Josh was managing editor of, a social action network where he supervised the launch of more than a dozen issue-based blogs. He previously worked as an associate editor for and Personal Democracy Forum, and was an adjunct lecturer in media studies at Hunter College in New York City. Josh holds a B.A. in English and religion from the University of Vermont and an M.F.A. in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College.

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Garlin Gilchrist II

Garlin Gilchrist II

I’m from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora and am a National Campaign Director at I currently live in Washington, DC with my beautiful wife Ellen.

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Sabrina Hersi Issa

Sabrina Hersi Issa

Sabrina is the CEO at Be Bold Media, a digital agency focused on global advocacy and the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to seeking sustainable solutions to food security and humanitarian aid assistance. Previously, she was a Program Adviser at Afghans for Civil Society, an NGO that developed women’s programs and independent media in southern Afghanistan, worked for National Public Radio, NBC News and Oxfam America. She has advised women legislators on digital engagement and social media and created the Human Rights Forum, a monthly gathering for activists and technologists. Forbes named her 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy and Washingtonian Magazine featured as part of it’s Most Powerful Women issue. She is a Truman Nation Security Partner, an adviser to Digital Democracy and proudly sits on the boards of Exhale Provoice, Web of Change and Women, Action & the Media.

Other sessions: Safeguarding Democracy: Innovations in Technology and Human Rights

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Jamilah King


Jamilah King is news editor at, where she coordinates story assignments, writes about culture, and reports on media and technology. Her work has appeared in several publications, including and The Advocate. Before joining Colorlines, Jamilah was an editor at WireTap Magazine and served on the peer review board of the Youth Media Reporter. A native of San Francisco, she graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif. with a degree in English, studied labor history at CUNY’s Murphy Institute and economic development at the University of the West Indies.

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Netroots Nation 2017