OurMaps A Spatial Justice Toolkit for Grassroots Organizing

Team Bios

Project BackgroundTeam BiosContact



Becky Hurwitz: Becky is the Codesign Facilitator and Community Organizer at the Center. She spends her time with changemakers of many kinds codesigning tools and methods to leverage media and technology for equitable social change. Prior to joining the Center, she led the SaferMobile project at MobileActive, a program to educate and train activists, journalists, and human rights defenders in mobile phone security. Becky has lived domestically and internationally working at the intersections of social justice, technology design and development, and media making. She is particularly dedicated to the demystification of technology and the democratization of technology creation and use. Becky holds a B.S. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and an M.S. in Information Management and Systems from the UC Berkeley iSchool.

Chris Schweidler is a long time practitioner and advocate of research by and for grassroots-led movements for social justice. She works to support social justice advocacy through community-led research and popular education. She is co-founder and co-owner of Research Action Design (RAD), a worker-owned cooperative that partners with grassroots organizations on research, tech and media for their organizing campaigns. Prior to RAD, Schweidler was Research Director at DataCenter, and Research Director of Healthy City at the Advancement Project.


Lize Mogel is a counter-cartographer and an interdisciplinary artist. Her work is situated at the interstices of popular education, cultural production, progressive policy advocacy, and mapping. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; future territorial disputes in the Arctic; and wastewater economies in New York City. She is co-editor of the book/map collection “An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism. She’s presented her work in public space, publications, lectures and exhibitions internationally. Read more here.

Sasha Costanza-Chock is Assistant Professor of Civic Media at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies department (cms.mit.edu) and Co-Principal Investigator at the Center for Civic Media (civic.mit.edu). He is also a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. His work focuses on social movement media, community based research and participatory design, media justice and communication rights, and digital inclusion. More information about Sasha’s work can be found at http://schock.cc.

Tim Stallmann is a freelance cartographer and a founding member of 3Cs: the Counter-Cartographies Collective. His work focuses on using maps as tools to build community power around racial, economic justice and environmental justice. Tim’s maps and his collaborations with 3Cs have been widely published and exhibited. He also teaches map-making at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. For more, see www.tim-maps.com


Alex Harris is a web developer and artist living in Oakland, CA. He has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz, where he focused on agroecology and bicycle transporation advocacy and infrastructure. He currently serves on the board of the Wild Lilac Child Development Community, a non-profit in Portland focusing on inclusive early childhood education. He enjoys thinking about utopian/dystopian futures, mainly as depicted in young adult speculative fiction, as well as how technology fits into our lives. You can find his work at internetstudio.biz and alexharr.is.
Bill Hogan is an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and anti-patriarchal activist. When he’s not working at DataCenter, you can find Bill reading non-fiction or playing with other people’s dogs.

Rodrigo Davies: Rodrigo Davies is a Research Assistant at the Center for Civic Media and an M.S. student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT. A former journalist at Bloomberg and the BBC in London, before joining the Center he was based in Mumbai, where he was a founding editor of Conde Nast’s digital editorial business. In the past few years he has worked with the crisis mapping initiative Standby Task Force and is a policy advisor for Spacehive, a UK-based crowdfunding platform for public development projects. Rodrigo holds a B.A. in Politics and Modern History from Oxford University. He blogs occasionally at rodrigodavies.com and tweets @rodrigodavies.

Luis Capelo (@luiscape) is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he focuses on the very interesting intersections between technology, information and humanitarian affairs. Luis is one of the leading members of the Digital Humanitarian Network, a network-of-networks that aims to enhance collaboration between online technical communities and humanitarian organizations. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, Luis was working with a non-violence think-tank in Brazil, and has lived in Argentina, Cuba, Spain and Palestine in order to finish his undergraduate degree in Political Science. Luis is absolutely passionate about Ibero American literature, and feeds a long-time dream of writing a political novel. More info at luiscapelo.info.

Aditi Mehta: Aditi is a PhD Student at MIT in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and is the SAGE/Marilyn Jacobs Gittell Activist Scholar with the Community Innovator’s Lab. She also received her Masters in City Planning (MCP) from MIT in 2010. As an MCP student, Aditi worked on neighborhood revitalization and storytelling projects in New Orleans and consulted for China’s largest residential real estate firm in Shenzhen. Her thesis explored the importance of public libraries in immigrant communities, specifically Boston’s Chinatown. Previously, she was a Research and Communications Associate at the Boston Foundation helping to develop data democratization projects and impact measures for grant-making. She conducted research in Mumbai about non-profit capacity in slums and was an Assistant Project Manager at Telesis Corporation, a mission-driven affordable housing developer. Synergies between the visual arts and social science research inspire her to think about alternative ways of understanding a place and its people.

Arlene Ducao: Arlene Ducao is a PI and Founder of The DuKode Studio in Brooklyn, a Research Fellow at the MIT International Development Initiative, and a member of the MIT Media Lab’s affiliated E14 Startup Fund. She is also a recent Ida M. Green Fellow at the MIT Media Lab’s Information Ecology group. At MIT, she launched OpenIR, a software initiative democratizing environmental maps for crisis management in NYC, Indonesia, and beyond. She also invented MindRider, a brain-reading helmet now being developed by DuKode for community and consumer use.

Pablo Rey Mazón is a visiting scientist at the MIT Center for Civic Media. He is cofundator of Basurama.org and Meipi.org. He is now living in Cambridge MA and working for the development of the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers website and communication, globalrec.org. He also develops data visualization work under montera34.com. More info at numeroteca.org.

Theo Gibbs-Plessl: Theo aspires to be equal parts scientist, artist, and activist. Currently, she is pursuing her M.S. degree at Stanford in Earth Systems, an interdisciplinary environmental science and policy program. She is interested in the question of how we can build social and ecological resilience in low-income communities who will be the most severely impacted by climate change. After completing her B.A. at Stanford in Anthropology, she spent the past year as an Emerson Fellow, examining strategies to tackle poverty and food (in)justices in the US. She holds a deep love for space, place, and representations of it, and can often be found playing with Google Earth and building topographical models out of layer cakes. Find her on twitter and pinterest (@tpg33).

Catherine D’Ignazio, a.k.a. kanarinka, is an artist, software developer and educator. She is the Director of the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, an interventionist performance troupe, and former Director of the Experimental Geography Research Cluster at RISD’s Digital+Media MFA program. She has also taught in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT since 2009. Her artwork has been exhibited at the ICA Boston, Eyebeam, and MASSMoCA, and has won awards from the Tanne Foundation and Turbulence.org. Catherine has a BA in International Relations from Tufts University and an MFA in Studio Art from Maine College of Art. She has lived and worked in Paris, Buenos Aires, and Michigan, and currently resides in Waltham, MA.


ADVISORS (bios coming soon!)

Christine Gaspar
Damaris Reyes
Laura Harjo
Laura Kurgan
Jeff Warren
Philippe Recacewicz
Gloria Medina
Nithya V. Raman
Jenny Lee