Cayden Mak

Executive Director
18MillionRising.org

Cayden Mak is Executive Director at 18MillionRising.org, an online hub for Asian American social movements. He has been a facilitator and champion of community designed organizing models that harness the internet and technology. Prior to 18MR.org, he completed coursework towards a Master of Fine Arts, taught intro media studies courses, organized marginalized academic labor, and contested corporate power at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. While in graduate school, he co-founded New York Students Rising, a network of student organizers in New York State’s public university systems, and Youngist, a young people-powered movement media network.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

The Internet Saved My Life: The past, present, and future of the queer internet

The internet has been a home for queer people for a long time. With the rise of social-oriented spaces online, from IRC chat rooms and bulletin boards in the 90s and early 00s to blogs to Facebook and podcasts, queer people of color, especially those with limited access to offline queer spaces, can find and build community virtually. I like to say the internet saved my life - and it continues to enrich our lives, helping us share ideas, make connections, and fight for justice every day.

The internet is also fraught. From the FCC’s rollback of net neutrality, to online harassment, to the risks posed to organizers through infiltration and catfishing, there are a lot of threats out there. They make us very vulnerable.

However, our communities are, as always, fighting back. We have more agency online than we know, so what do we want the internet of the future to look and feel like?

This session is for both organizers who use the internet as well as casual internet enthusiasts who want to think about how our current online media environment creates opportunities and challenges, and shapes the way we build community for queer & trans people of color.

Speakers: Cayden Mak