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Our panel on July 31, 2016, served as a follow up conversation to our virtual-reality-studded Night Out gala. We were joined by leading voices in both the tech and social justice fields, including global tech ethnographer Tricia Wang, Grace Lau (Director of VR at Global Nomads Group), and UJC Safe Reentry Advocate Johnny Perez.

PANELISTS

Grace Lau is the Director of VR at Global Nomads Group and oversees the newly launched Virtual Reality Lab. The VR Lab aims to use this technology to develop awareness of global issues critical for building a new generation of compassionate global citizens. Prior, she served as GNG’s Deputy Director overseeing its dynamic virtual exchange portfolio across worldwide communities of learners. Outside of work, she lives by her mantra "fries over ice cream, any day." 

Johnny Perez is a non-attorney advocate at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP), a civil legal services firm that provides legal and social work services to people with serious mental illness.  Specifically, he is assigned to MHP’s Safe Re-entry Project, where he works with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration, to connect them to the services in the community that will assist them to attain better measures of recovery and gain the stability necessary to avoid further contact with the criminal justice system. His insights can be heard in "6x9," a VR project about solitary confinement created by The Guardian.

Tricia Wang is a global technology ethnographer. Her research seeks to understand how technology makes us more human. Her research spans from China to social media and most recently, virtual reality. Tricia’s work and points of view have been featured in Slate, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Fast Company, Makeshift, and Wired. She is also the co-founder of Constellate Data, a service firm that helps companies understand people with data. Organizations she has worked with include P&G, Nokia, GE, Kickstarter, the United Nations and NASA. Tricia began her career as a documentary filmmaker, an HIV/AIDS activist, a hip-hop education advocate, and a technology educator in low-income communities.