Here I am

My name is Alexandre Goncalves, a Brazilian who has been living in Cambridge since September 2012. You can call me Alex. I worked as a Science reporter in Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo for five years. I am also a computer programmer who worked for IBM and other software companies.

At MIT, I am a second year Master’s student at Comparative Media Studies and a research assistant in the Center For Civic Media. My main interests are data journalism and the future of press in modern democratic societies.

I love literature and philosophy… especially when they are found together. Like Albert Camus, I believe “a novel is nothing but philosophy expressed in images.” An amateur photographer, I am fond of images in whatever form they take: there is little more beautiful than a hike through the rainforest woven through with shallow but crystalline rivers.

Hi, this is Dara

Hi everyone, I’m Dara (pronounced like Sara). Though, if you looked at my birth certificate you’d see that my real name is Dar, which in Hebrew means ‘mother-of-pearl’ and in Spanish means ‘to give,’ and represents the duality of my background.  My father was from Israel and immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1980s and my mother was born into a Puerto Rican and Colombian family in Jackson Heights, Queens. My mom, however, wanted to Americanize my name and had people outside of my family call me ‘Dara.’

I was born in New York City, where we lived in Washington Heights until I was six. After that, I was transplanted to Jersey, where I would sit in front of the window for hours, looking for people. Once, I spotted someone and started to scream with joy and exclaimed, “MOM! COME QUICK! THERE ARE PEOPLE HERE LIKE IN NEW YORK!” My grandfather always used to say, “people need people,” and I couldn’t live in a place where I couldn’t easily interact with people. Needless to say, I always missed city living and after I graduated from the University of Michigan, I headed straight back.

In New York, I first worked for a legal services non-profit as a legal advocate, representing low- and no-income New Yorkers on issues tied to their ongoing receipt of public assistance, Medicaid, food stamps, and housing subsidies. Then, I worked for a non-profit supportive housing developer, coordinating the rent-up process for their newest building in Brownsville, Brooklyn. In the middle of it all, I went to Turkey on a Fulbright Fellowship, teaching English at a university in a rural town and getting plump for Thanksgiving — it was gravy! (chuckle? I think I may be cringing)

I am currently a second year student in the city planning program at MIT and my interests lie at the nexus of housing and economic development. I am excited to take this course and work with community organizations in the Boston area to help them develop narratives around issues that are important to them through different forms of media!

Douglas I am.

Hello, my name is Douglas Omar Sanchez, but feel free to call me Doug, Douglas or Dougie. I am a senior in Mechanical Engineering (2A) with a concentration in product design. My self taught hobby and strongest skill is graphic design (I’m an Adobe Illustrator Certifed Expert). I am use to applying the design process to making products but not to civic media projects. I believe in the theories of democratic design and am excited to learn new ways to apply those theories to more than just consumers products.

Hello, this is Carrie.

Hello people! My name is Jiahui Liang but I usually go by the nickname Carrie. I was born in GuangZhou, China and I moved to the United States when I was 10 years old (in 2003). I am a senior studying Mechanical Engineering (course 2) at MIT. I am interested in product development, robotics, and web design. I am hoping to apply my engineering skills to solve some real world problems and learn more about civic media and other social movements through this class. I am looking forward to working with you all this semester!

Hi, I’m Nene

Hi everyone, I am Nene. My parents emigrated from Nigeria in the 80s and we moved around a bit before settling in Stone Mountain, GA. I moved to Cambridge for college at Harvard in 2005 and spent my summers as a youth worker running summer camps in Boston. I did some consulting work in D.C. right after I graduated in 2009 before I came running back to Boston. I’ve been a youth worker/organizer in the city for about 4 years now. I am also currently a Masters in City Planning student at MIT. I am interested in the intersection of “new/alternative” economic development, shifting culture/challenging dominant narratives, and [youth/multi-generational] organizing. I hope to eventually support young people in developing new economic and political institutions such as worker/housing cooperatives, credit unions, participatory budgeting etc. as part of community economic development and organizing strategies.

I think this course will build on my previous experience in participating in/designing collaborative processes, as well as teach me some multi-media skills I can use and pass on to others.

Hello, World! This is Qian.

Hello everyone!

My name is Qian, a senior in course 6-3 (Computer Science). My CS interests lie in systems and AI, and I have experience with web and mobile app development. I am hoping I will be able to apply my skills in this class. I am looking forward to working with community partners this semester to design something that will be beneficial. I am also looking forward to working with a diverse team with people across all majors because that is not something I get to do often in my course 6 classes.