About Us

Full Color Future is a think tank and advocacy organization committed to changing the narrative about people of color in media, tech and innovation.

WHAT WE DO

/ Our Mission

We aim to provide policymakers and policy stakeholders with an important—though largely untapped—resource of expertise by connecting them to practitioners, and by analyzing relevant policy issues through the lens of what works for multicultural communities leading in tech.

Full Color Future lifts up the policies, interventions, and experts that bend our arc toward a more just future.

/ Impact Stats

12%

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/ Full Color Future Is:

Mignon L. Clyburn

/ Chairwoman, Corporate Advisory Board

mignon@fullcolorfuture.org

Mignon L. Clyburn served as Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2009 to 2018, and acting chair from May to November of 2013.

During her nearly nine years at the FCC, Commissioner Clyburn was committed to closing persistent digital and opportunities divides that continue to challenge rural, Native and low wealth communities. Specifically, she pushed for the modernization of the agency’s Lifeline Program, which assists low income consumers in defraying the cost of voice and broadband service, championed diversity in media ownership, initiated Inmate Calling Services reforms, emphasized diversity and inclusion in STEM opportunities, and fought to preserve a free and open internet.

Previously, Clyburn served 11 years on the South Carolina Public Service Commission. Prior to that, she was the publisher and general manager of the Coastal Times, a family-founded, Charleston-based weekly newspaper focusing on issues affecting the African American community.

Clyburn most recently held a fellowship at the Open Society Foundation where she championed efforts to eliminate predatory rates for prison telephone services and is currently the principal of MLC Strategies, LLC.

She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a BS in banking, finance and economics.

Damara Lauren Catlett

/ Executive Director

dcatlett@fullcolorfuture.org

Damara is a campaign strategist and non-profit administration expert with several years of experience in building grassroots advocacy and messaging efforts, developing messaging strategy, running advocacy campaigns, and representing tech companies including Airbnb and Google. She has deep relationships across the civil rights community and has provided strategic planning counsel and facilitation to some of the top organizations in the country.

As Executive Director of Full Color Future, Damara executes key external engagements, including 2018’s Future of the Internet and Salute to CBC Chiefs events. She leads relationship-building with the Full Color 50 and manages overall strategy for the organization.

Chanelle Hardy

/ Corporate Advisory Chair

chanelle@fullcolorfuture.org

Chanelle Hardy is an attorney, social justice advocate and tech policy expert dedicated to advancing policies and leaders that promote opportunity and justice. At Google, Chanelle serves as Strategic Outreach Counsel and Head of Policy Partnerships for US Civil and Human Rights. In 2016, she launched her passion project: the Google Next Generation Policy Leaders learning community to identify, equip and engage the Nation’s emerging leaders in tech and justice policy.

Prior to joining Google, Chanelle served as a Chief of Staff on Capitol Hill, SVP of Policy for the National Urban League, and Chief of Staff to the first woman Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. She is a former 5th grade TFA teacher and Consumers Union Fellow and she serves on the board of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.  

/ Advisory Board:

Chris Chamers

/ Georgetown
University

Christopher Chambers is a Washington, D.C. native and a Professor of Media Studies at Georgetown University in the graduate Communications Masters Program and undergraduate Communications Culture & Technology Department. He is also an adjunct at Georgetown University Law School. He also serves as Deputy Chief Creative Officer for Soteryx Corporation, which provides platform and network architecture, and security, for Internet of Things (IoT) projects in conjunction with General Electric Corporation (GE).

Professor Chambers writes for the Huffington Post and TheRoot.com and is an analyst on SiriusXM Radio channel 127; he also appears on MSNBC, the RT … America cable network and China’s “World Insight” show on topics ranging from the FCC and regulation of the digital realm, digital copyright, technology and the law, and media trends in politics.

His professional academic appearances include moderating a panel at SXSW (Austin, Texas) on apps and digital culture, and moderating a conference colloquium on media and science at the International Federation of Science Journalists (Helsinki, Finland). He is the author of four fiction novels and one graphic novel through MacMillan, Random House and Prose-Press. He was a finalist in 2008 for the PEN/Malamud Short Story Award for “Leviathan.”

Professor Chambers is a former general counsel to Independence Bank, and was a staff attorney at the US Department of Justice, civil division. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

Eric K. Easter

/ Chairman - National Black
Programming Consortium

Eric Easter is CEO of BlackBox Digital Studios, which produces documentaries and television programming for public media and streaming networks, and the co-founder of UrbanNews, an investigative news organization that provides content to more than 250 newspapers and magazines in the US.

The former CEO of streaming channel Black Heritage Network, he is executive producer of “My Big Show”, a TV series competition, and “The District” a documentary series on Washington neighborhoods, which premiered in 2016 summer on PBS.

An advocate for a strong public media, he serves as chairman of the National Black Programming Consortium, which funds and develops documentary film and digital projects on the black cultural experience for PBS. He is on the board of WHUT-TV in Washington DC and a member of the board of the Public Media Platform, a joint effort of PBS, NPR, and others to build a digital resource of all public media content. He is also on the consumer advisory board of AT&T and the board of the NAACP’s historic magazine, Crisis. Most recently he has joined the tech policy organization, Full Color Future, as a founding board member.

The former vice president of entertainment and chief digital officer for Johnson Publishing, he launched and served as founding editor-in-chief of EbonyJet.com (now Ebony.com). As head of its entertainment unit, he spearheaded the company’s push into documentaries, online radio and short form video. The partnership he established with Google led to the digitization of the archives of Ebony, Jet, Negro Digest/Black World and Ebony Jr.

Prior to joining JPC, he directed communications strategy and social media outreach for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, and served as executive director of Lawyers for the Arts, where he worked with content and music creators to navigate the impact of digital technology on intellectual property.

A publisher and author, he founded ONE magazine, and published Black Film Review, a scholarly quarterly. He is the creator and co-author of the bestselling book “Songs of My People” (Little Brown 1992) a historic book and international photo exhibition on the lives of African Americans. In collaboration with actor Edward James Olmos and journalist Manny Monterrey, he produced AMERICANOS: Latino Life in the United States (Little Brown, 1990), a book, exhibition and award-winning HBO documentary which launched HBO Latino.

A veteran of political media, he began his career as press secretary to Rev. Jesse Jackson, and later advised the campaigns of Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, Senator Mark Warner and presidential candidate Howard Dean, among others.

Chris Lewis

/ Public Knowledge

Christopher Lewis is Vice President at Public Knowledge and leads the organization’s advocacy on Capitol Hill and other government agencies. Prior to joining Public Knowledge in 2012, Chris served at the Federal Communications Commission as Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs and advised the FCC Chairman on legislative and political strategy. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has over 15 years of political organizing and advocacy experience including work as the North Carolina Field Director for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Chris serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Local Self Reliance and represents Public Knowledge on the Board of the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG). Chris graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Government. He lives in Alexandria, VA where he loves working on local civic issues and is elected to the Alexandria City Public School Board.

Todd Shurn

/ Howard University

Dr. Shurn received a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from Southern Methodist University. Research interests include games, interactive media, robotics, combinatorial optimization, smart and healthy cities, fresh produce processing and packaging. He has been employed as an IBM software engineer verifying the space shuttle operating system, a visiting researcher at the University of Southern California Integrated Media Systems Center and a consultant to Disney, Microsoft, the Washington Post and HBO.

Dr. Shurn is currently a University of Michigan Urban Collaboratory consultant and a Howard University computer science faculty member. He is active supporting Chicago, DMV, Houston and national pre-college STEM pipeline programs including those seeking to increase minority applications to United States service academies.

DeShuna Moore Spencer

/ Kweli.tv

DeShuna Spencer is the Founder/CEO of kweliTV, a video streaming network that curates undiscovered and award-winning indie films, documentaries, web series and children’s programming of the global black community; and she’s a radio host/producer of emPower Hour, a weekly social justice show on DC’s 89.3 FM WPFW. Previously, she served as founding publisher of emPowermagazine.com where she launched the emPower Players Awards honoring community activists of color. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Spencer served as Director of Communications & Managing Editor for EdMarket.

A Memphis native, Spencer graduated from Jackson State University where she studied communications and journalism. She has written for The Clarion-Ledger, The Oakland Tribune, the Crisis Magazine and AOL. A former AmeriCorps*VISTA and Chips Quinn Scholar, Spencer recently completed her first documentary, Mom Interrupted. She is a Spring 2017 Halcyon Incubator Fellow, a 2017 Voqal Fellow and winner of the 2017 Harvard Business School African Business Conference Pitch Competition.