Hi, I’m Cayden.
I am committed to designing & building transformative, beautiful futures from the ground up. Growing up around the internet has meant that “technology,” in the high-tech sense, is always on my mind. As a trans masculine person of color, “technology,” broadly construed, is of paramount importance to survival. Regardless of what kind of tech we’re talking about, I’m primarily interested in how technology changes the way we are social with one another.
I have been involved in building movements that care for whole people since I came out of the closet as a high school student in suburban Michigan. I have worked in various movements and organizing formations since then, from student movements focused on higher education to organized labor to trending hashtags on Twitter to neighborhood efforts against gentrification and displacement.
I have education in fine art and film/media studies, philosophy of language, and facilitation for social change. I think a lot about pedagogy and how we teach people to do things online and off, as well as grapple with difficult questions about power, identity, and inequality.
My current day job is as Executive Director of 18MillionRising.org, a digital-first movement-building organization working with Asian American & Pacific Islander communities. My previous roles at 18MR.org have included Chief Technology Officer, New Media Director, and Social Media Wizard. I’m proud to say that I’m responsible for introducing lightweight, modular tech stacks into digital-first organizing and for VoterVOX, an experiment in how tech designed by communities can transform workflows that already exist in those communities into important tools for change.
Previous day jobs include: teaching media theory and game design to undergraduates; bartending at a vegetarian restaurant; organizing university workers for a labor union; driving a delivery route; and freelance web design.
Work that I’ve done that I don’t get paid for includes organizing with the Save E. 12th Coalition, which brought neighbors together to design and propose a plan for a parcel of public land in my current neighborhood in Oakland, California; cofounding Youngist, a youth media collective that we closed in 2016 that published fearless reporting and commentary from youth movements around the world; working with the movement tech community on issues of equity and gender-based violence in our work and organizing spaces; helping organize the Allied Media Conference; and writing about all the ideas you will find on this website.
I am working on a book manuscript about the relationship between affect, capital, and organizing on social media.
You can subscribe to assemblages, my very erratic and occasional TinyLetter, here.
I also give thoughtful advice about work, love, and being a decent human in a screwed up world.
Learn more about my work on my C.V.
Interested in bringing me to your campus or community to speak about my work and ideas? Find out more here.
About This Site
The theme is Moon by Taylan Tatli. The background image is graffiti from the May ‘68 uprising in Paris. The graffiti reads “sous les paves, la plage!” or “beneath the paving stones, the beach!” The words are both literal (the paving stones of Paris were laid upon sand, which the rebels discovered when they pulled them up to use during the uprising), but can also be read as a rallying cry to dismantle the subjugating logic of capitalism to discover joy, play, and freedom beneath.
In the spirit of the internet, you are invited to share these ideas far and wide. However, do understand that the work and ideas I write about here are, in some meaningful way, my life’s work. I hope you will respect it as such.
My original work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. Learn more about what that means here.
Any information you share with me or transmit via this website will be held in confidence, with the exception of the text of questions asked. I will never ever sell your information to a third party, nor share it without your explicit written consent. Information collected will primarily be used to get in touch with you.
Regarding tracking, I collect a small amount of information about visitors via Google Analytics for my own self-aggrandizing reasons.
Don’t be a jerk.