Co-Founders:

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble

Dr. Safiya Noble (@safiyanoble) is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she serves as the Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and holds appointments in African American Studies and Gender Studies. She was recently appointed a Research Associate to the Oxford Internet Institute and is a Commissioner for the Oxford Commission on AI and Good Governance (OxCAIGG) convened at the University of Oxford. She is a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, serving those vulnerable to online harassment. /more

Dr. Sarah T. Roberts

Sarah T. Roberts (@ubiquity75) is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Information Studies where she serves as the Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, and holds an appointment in Labor Studies. She was recently appointed a Research Associate to the Oxford Internet Institute as well as invited to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cyber Policy (at Chatham House). She is a 2018 Carnegie Fellow and a 2018 recipient of the EFF Barlow Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking research on content moderation of social media. /more

Meet the Team:

Executive Director

Vanessa Wrenn Rhinesmith

Vanessa Wrenn Rhinesmith (she/her/hers) is the Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Critical Initiative (C2i2) where she also oversees the Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power. Vanessa brings over 15 years of project, program, and strategy experience working with non profits, higher education institutions, and social entrepreneurs. She takes an approach to work that is rooted in critical inquiry, collaboration, and trust.

Vanessa started her journey as a social worker in Chicago, Illinois before transitioning to work centered in purpose, community, and care in relation to intersectional feminism, harm reduction, and technology and society. Vanessa received her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Simmons School of Management (Massachusetts) with a focus on women* and org behavior.

Vanessa continues to explore feminist approaches to cyber security and international relations; the role of history, narrative, and power in the creation of sex trafficking policies. She is currently cultivating a care network with and for women-identifying and gender nonconforming folx experiencing online and other forms of harassment in STEM. Vanessa has spoken at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Simmons University, Harvard Kennedy School, South by Southwest (SXSW), the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTEN), and more. Vanessa speaks, and facilitates conversations, on a variety of topics that include intersectional feminist approaches to data and digital technology; activism, advocacy, and stewardship; and community engagement.

Vanessa is also the Event Producer of the Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN), annual research conference, and Review Editor for the Journal of Community Informatics (JoCI). She lives with her husband, child (they/them), and two cats. In her (little) free time, you’ll find her running, reading graphic novels, or scuba diving (post-pandemic).

Director of Research

Stacy Wood

Stacy Wood (pronouns she/her) is the Director of Research for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Her research and teaching interests are focused on the intersection of information technologies and cultures and practices around evidence. Her research has been published in several scholarly journals including Computational Culture and Preservation, Digital Technology and Culture. Wood holds a PhD and an MLIS from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information and a BA in World Literature, Gender Studies and Media Studies from Pitzer College. Prior to joining the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, Wood was an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information at the University of Pittsburgh.
Artistic Director

Oge Egbuonu

Program Manager, Racial Justice

Robyn Hillman-Harrigan

Center Administrator

Annie Lee

UCLA Student Affairs Officer

Michelle Maye

Research Affiliate

Dr. Matt Bui

Dr. Matthew Le Bui (PhD, University of Southern California) is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the NYU Alliance for Public Interest Technology. He is also a research affiliate and project lead/co-lead with the NYU Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies (CR+DS) and UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2).

An interdisciplinary scholar at the nexus of digital, data, and racial justice, Dr. Bui draws from critical race theory, information and communication studies, urban sociology, and geographic information science (GIS), among other fields and disciplines, to map the potential for, and barriers to, urban data justice. He is especially interested in issues of race, racism, and racial justice within digital and data-driven technologies, platforms, and policy—at the local and macro level of intervention. For more information about his current projects, visit his research page.

Dr. Bui recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a PhD in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication and Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIST) from the USC Spatial Sciences Institute. Prior to his doctoral work, he received his MSc in Media and Communication (Research) from the London School of Economics and graduated from UCLA with honors; he also worked in non-profit and technology marketing between degrees.

The son of Vietnamese refugees and the product of a heavily Latinx-Asian immigrant community, Dr. Matthew Bui strives to give back to his communities through actionable—and community-minded—research and advocacy.

Research Affiliate

Terra Graziani

Terra is Research Program Officer for Educopia Institute. She also co-directs the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a collective that mobilizes data and storytelling in support of tenant organizers in California. She received her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2019. She grew up in North Carolina, worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years, and is now based in Los Angeles, CA.
Minderoo Fellow, Culture

Lawrence Maminta

Minderoo Fellow, Policy

Vandhana Ravi

Vandhana Ravi (she/her) works to (re)build systems that are liberated from the ones we are dismantling. Her research and activism center radical love and a critical imagination to interrogate the role of technology in our cultures and institutions of power. She currently works as a Research Associate at the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University. She has been privileged to work with and learn from folx at Project LETS, Providence !CityArts¡, and UNICEF’s Office of Innovation. Vandhana holds two BAs in Sociology and Poetry from Brown University.
Minderoo Fellow, Digital Labor

Megan Riley

Megan Riley is a recent graduate of UCLA’s MLIS program focusing on labor in LIS, special collections, and archives; she was co-president of SAA @ UCLA and co-chair of UCLA’s SCA student chapter, 2019-2020. Megan begins doctoral studies in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies in Fall 2020 focusing on labor issues in libraries, archives, and museums, particularly precarious labor. She is committed to police-free libraries, and is currently organizing to demand LAPL divest from and terminate its relationship with LAPD.
Fellow, Racial Justice

Thandiwe Abdullah

Graduate Student Researcher

Maya Edmond

Edmond is a 2nd year MLIS student pursuing the Media Archival Studies track. She is a practicing DJ, music producer, fashion designer and curator interested in the archival practices of music and art, as well as intellectual property knowledge to protect independent artists. She looks forward to building communities around electronic music with the information to write new narratives.
Graduate Student Researcher

Ruth Livier

Ruth Livier is an UCLA Information Studies doctoral candidate, and earning a DH certificate. Her research is at the intersection of digital technologies, Latinx communities, media, and social justice. Forthcoming publications include a book chapter in the volume The Intersectional Internet II: Power, Politics and Resistance Online (2021); edited by Safiya Noble, Sarah T. Roberts, Brooklyne Gipson, and Sulafa Zidani. She returns to academia with a 20+year career in the entertainment industry.
Graduate Student Researcher

Yvonne M. Eadon

Yvonne M. Eadon holds an MLIS from and is a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research exists at the intersection of conspiracy theory scholarship, information seeking and behavior, and archival studies. Her most recent publication is forthcoming in a special issue of Knowledge Organization devoted to Politics, Culture, and the Organization of Knowledge.

Scholars Council

The Scholars Council is an advisory community who are integral to our commitment to critical research.