How Betsy DeVos Became So Unpopular (Sponsored Panel)

How Betsy DeVos Became So Unpopular (Sponsored Panel)

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Aug. 11 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Aug. 11 2:15 PM (Eastern)

Betsy DeVos went from being a relatively unknown Republican donor to the most unpopular member of Donald Trump’s cabinet. It didn’t happen on it’s own. A dedicated effort from educators, parents and the community organized a resistance that slows down and threatens their entire education agenda. We’ll look at what digital practices worked and discuss what can be replicated in the future.

This panel is sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers.


Wagatwe Wanjuki

Wagatwe Wanjuki

Wagatwe Wanjuki is a national speaker on issues of activism, rape culture, feminism, gender, and racial justice who utilizes her personal narrative as a sexual assault survivor in her activism and writing. She successfully used storytelling during Know Your IX’s ED ACT NOW campaign to spur the creation of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Her social media successes include creating conversations around sexual violence by creating hashtags like #SurvivorPrivilege and #TheresNoPerfectVictim. Her writing has appeared in outlets including Mic, ESSENCE magazine, American Prospect, and The New York Times. She currently serves as a staff writer for Upworthy.

my website


Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson (he/him) is the CEO of Civic Shout and a Co-Founder of The Juggernaut Project, two companies that help Democratic campaigns and progressive nonprofits grow their opt-in email communities.

my website

Hailey Snow


Born and raised in Southern California. Digital Director for the AFT. Fighting the good fight for public schools, usually on the internet.

Kami Spicklemire

Kami Spicklemire is an Education Campaign Manager at American Progress. Prior to joining American Progress, she was the development coordinator at College Summit and a fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program. She holds a master of public affairs—with concentrations in policy analysis and nonprofit management—and a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

Dominik Whitehead


Dominik Whitehead is a political action representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO. Whitehead started with AFSCME as a political apprentice where he worked in Florida on political and legislative campaigns, and in Wisconsin on the recall Gov. Scott Walker campaign.

As a political action representative, Whitehead is responsible for developing, implementing and leading political campaigns and electoral programs that support AFSCME’s goals and objectives of electing lawmakers who support working families. Whitehead has assumed lead roles on many campaigns and projects including: 2014 Michigan governor’s race where he was the get-out-the vote director in the Worker’s Voice Independent Expenditure Program; the assistant manager in the 2015 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, AFSCME member-to-member program; state lead during the 2015 gubernatorial race in Kentucky; and various roles in Iowa, Nevada, Florida and Pennsylvania for the 2016 presidential primary. Whitehead also lead AFSCME affiliates in Florida and the District of Columbia with lobbying efforts on the state and local levels.

Whitehead graduated from Bethune-Cookman University in 2010 where he received a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Studies and completed his Master’s in Public Administration from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University in 2011. Whitehead attended the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Public Policy, Senior Executives in Local and State Politics program, where he completed a certification in government.

Most recently, Whitehead was the founder and lead organizer of the Stop DeVos at BCU campaign, which garnered 60,000 petition signers through and Color of Change. The campaign led the students to protest in collective action, turning their backs to Secretary Betsy DeVos during the commencement speech.

He is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia.