The FCC’s War on the Poor

The FCC’s War on the Poor

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Aug. 2 1:00 PM

Ends: Thursday, Aug. 2 2:15 PM

Room: 217/218

Thu 1pm: The FCC's War on the Poor

The FCC's War on the Poor

Posted by Netroots Nation on Thursday, August 2, 2018

The FCC chairman and the Republican majority have been axing our communications rights for the past year. And those who will suffer the most from their policies are people living below the poverty line and people of color. It’s our job to intervene and make sure that—instead of being thrown to the wolves—vulnerable communities are centered in the policies that dictate how we communicate with one another. This panel is designed to sound the alarm about the FCC’s disastrous policies and provide useful guidance for progressive organizers and communities seeking to resist. The session will include a conversation between activists and advocates integral to the fight for #DigitalCivilRights.

Moderator

Carmen Scurato

Carmen Scurato

Carmen Scurato leads the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s policy and government affairs work, based in Washington, D.C. She develops policy and legal strategies to ensure that Latinos and other communities of color have access to affordable and open communications.

As an advocate for reforms that encourage innovation, enhance competition, and increase diversity in the telecommunications landscape, Carmen reviews key policy items as they develop. She prepares legal comments explaining to regulators the impact of media and telecommunications laws and regulations on Latinos across the country. Carmen regularly represents NHMC in meetings with members of Congress and federal regulatory agencies. She also coordinates with other organizations to draft advocacy letters and advance public pressure campaigns that protect vulnerable communities.

Before joining NHMC, Carmen worked as a contractor for the Department of Justice and assisted in investigations alleging financial fraud against federal agencies and federal health care programs. Most notably, Carmen helped recoup millions of dollars in a national False Claims Act whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud. She also worked at the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs on large document requests received from congressional oversight committees


Panelists

Brandi Collins-Dexter

Brandi Collins-Dexter

Brandi Collins-Dexter is the Senior Campaign Director at Color Of Change and oversees the media, democracy and economic justice departments. She has led a number of successful campaigns for accountability including getting Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor taken off the air; getting R. Kelly dropped from RCA for his repeatedly abusing girls; winning Net neutrality protections; pressuring financial companies to pull funding from hate groups; and persuading Disney not to whitewash the features of their character Princess Tiana.

Brandi is a regular commentator in the media on racial justice. The Hill named her a 2017 “person to watch.” She has written for The Root, The Hill and ESPN’s The Undefeated, and has been featured on the BBC, and in the Guardian, Gizmodo and Pitchfork.

Other sessions: The Race Paper and other Secret Documents: How the FBI and DHS are Surveilling and Criminalizing Black Protest

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Laura Li

Laura Li is a Campaigner at 18MillionRising.org, a digital first Asian American advocacy organization, where she develops and executes its issue campaigns grounded in local organizing and stories from the margins. She has worked on campaigns ranging from unjust deportation and surveillance to media justice and pop culture, and has spoken about her work on Capitol Hill. Her previous work in teaching and research on race relations within the Asian Diaspora has led her to speak at U.S. and Brazilian universities.

Other sessions: Not Today, Satan: Using the Internet to Fight Erasure and Displacement in Asian American Communities

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Erin Shields

Erin is the National Field Organizer for Internet Rights at CMJ. Erin joins CMJ with more than 5 years of grassroots organizing and advocacy experience in the areas of technology, affordable housing, and criminal justice. Prior to working with CMJ, she was a community organizer with Bread for the City, fighting alongside DC residents living on low incomes for equitable redevelopment without displacement. She also previously worked as a government affairs coordinator at the Internet Association on issues of net neutrality, privacy, and Internet governance. Erin recently served as the 2016-2017 co-chair of Black Youth Project 100’s DC Chapter and has committed herself to the work of liberating all Black people. She earned her BA in political science from Howard University and currently lives in Baltimore, MD.

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Joseph Torres

Joseph advocates in Washington to ensure that our nation’s media policies serve the public interest and builds coalitions to broaden the movement’s base. Joseph writes frequently on media and internet issues and is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media. He is the 2015 recipient of the Everett C. Parker Award, which recognizes an individual whose work embodies the principles and values of the public interest. Before joining Free Press, Joseph worked as deputy director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and was a journalist for several years.

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