Garlin Gilchrist II's passion for advocacy, technology and policy guide his actions as a professional and a public servant. Connecting technology, new media, and grassroots organizing is the cornerstone of Mr. Gilchrist's work.
Garlin is the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace.
He most recently served as the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org, where he focused on mobilizing MoveOn's seven million members on issues of civil rights, education, and technology policy advocacy through community organizing and online action. He also coordinated MoveOn's 2012 election mobilization program, Voters Rising. Gilchrist also the founded Detroit Diaspora, a network for native Detroiters living elsewhere to connect with one another as well as people doing positive work in the city of Detroit.
Garlin is the former Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change, nbsp;where he build a base of online supporters that will advocate for public policies that are in the best interests of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, and reflect strong community values in ways that ensure that their authentic voices are heard, amplified, and respected. He currently serves on CCC's Board of Directors.s
During the 2008 Presidential Election season, Gilchrist served as the Social Media Manager for the Barack Obama campaign in Washington. In this capacity, Gilchrist used social networking and text messaging to engage more online volunteers during the final month of the campaign than any other state.
He co-founded in 2005 and contributes to the blog "The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level," and is a former writer/host at the Brave New Films blog. These two sites marry high quality multimedia content and strategic, well-executed community organizing. Mr. Gilchrist also co-founded blacknetaction, a strategic collective of Black bloggers and online activists who coordinate web-based campaigns across the country.
As a member of the New Organizing Institute's Trainer & Speakers Bureau, Gilchrist has taught activists, candidates, and campaign staffers across the country how to best utilize new media in their work. Garlin has conducted in-person trainings for groups such as Wellstone Action! and online webinars.
Garlin works as a Fellow and Senior Policy Analyst for Technology with the Northwest Progressive Institute, a netroots powered strategy center working to advance the common good through ideas and action. In this role, he has written numerous policy statements on everything from net neutrality to space exploration and blogs regularly at the Institute's blog, The Advocate.
Mr. Gilchrist has served on the Boards of several nonprofits, including YES! Magazine Communication Advisory Board, The National Black Programming Consortium Board of Directors, Reclaim the Media, the Media & Democracy Coalition, and formerly on Seattle MESA Advisory Board. In these roles, he creatively uses technology to engage students, volunteers, readers and constituents.
Garlin graduated with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 2005. At Michigan Garlin was very active in the National Society of Black Engineers, served as Chairman of the Black Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists organization, and was the Chairman of the Black male support network on campus called HEADS (Here Earning a Destiny through Honesty, Eagerness, And Determination of Self). After graduation, he worked for 4 years as a Software Performance Engineer in Microsoft's SharePoint group, helping make it the fastest-growing product business in the company's history.
As an independent consultant, Mr. Gilchrist has provided strategy and technology support to numerous organizations with regard to online advocacy. His past clients include the NAACP and Johnson Publishing Company. A summary of his work is visible here.
When not working, Garlin enjoys basketball, reading on & offline, and spending time with his wife Ellen and twins Garlin III and Emily Grace.