The prevalence of digital media in today’s social discourse has polarized our society and made communication between ideological opponents exceedingly difficult. This trend has a great effect on young people who will soon vote in their first or second election and who will be conditioned in a culture that values confirmation bias over civil discourse. This event hosted by Impact NYC’s Rising Leader Board will explore how media and a polarized political climate impact the outlook of young people in their chosen sources of information, their willingness to engage in debate with those who have different views than their own, and their approach to communicating with people in power.
Legal Fellow, Knight Institute at Columbia University
Meenakshi Krishnan is a legal fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she helped litigate First Amendment and freedom of information cases as a Student Director of the Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic. She was also an Executive Editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Co-President of the Yale Law & Technology Society. During law school, Meenakshi worked for the Wikimedia Foundation, National Public Radio’s Office of the General Counsel, and Jenner & Block. After graduating, she clerked for the Hon. James A. Wynn, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A Fulbright scholar, Meenakshi received her B.A. in History and Political Science from Wake Forest University and her M.Phil. in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge.
Northeast Director at Young Invincibles
Marissa Muñoz is the Northeast Director of the Young Invincibles where she is leading the organization’s policy advocacy efforts to increase opportunities for young adults. Prior to this role, Marissa served as the Senior Director of Education Policy at the Hispanic Federation, advancing New York City and State policies that support the achievement of Latinos in both P-12 and higher education.
She is passionate about increasing college and career readiness opportunities for young people and has worked to increase programs and policies that support postsecondary success through her work at the College Board and the New York City Department of Education. Marissa holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Senior Technical Program Manager at Twitter
Laura is a Sr. TPM for Global Civic Integrity at Twitter. Self-described as a scrappy, resourceful and passionate leader in product, strategy and operations, she currently runs programs that have global impact working on Civic Integrity, Health and Regulatory programs. In addition to her day job, Laura also has a ‘gay job’ as the Global Co-Chair of @TwitterOpen, the LGBTQIA+ employee group at Twitter
Legislator, 18th District of the Nassau County Legislature
Legislator Josh Lafazan, at 23 years of age, became Nassau County’s youngest-ever legislator upon his election to the Nassau County Legislature in November of 2017. He is currently serving his first term, where he represents Nassau’s 18th Legislative District as an Independent. Josh graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Management in May 2017, and from the Cornell University ILR School with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations in May 2016.
Impact Public Service Fund Rising Leaders Board
Impact NYC is a non-profit organization that brings together a community of civically engaged citizens to participate in objective dialogue about our society’s most pressing issues. The newly formed, Rising Leaders Board is focused on elevating the voices and concerns of the next generation of civic leaders and finding new pathways for these leaders to bring about positive social change.