Culture & Community
Our Avatars, Ourselves
Marshall Davis Jones, Nick Johnson, Jack Petocz, Jules Terpak, Thanasi Dilos, Aliza Kopans, Larissa May
September 24, 2022
6:00 pm
 - 8:00 pm
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Our Avatars, Ourselves:
A Youth Town Hall Exploring Autonomy, Technology, And Our Relationship With The Environment

Young people are invited to explore their relationships with technology and one another in a town hall led by Marshall Davis Jones. This evening dedicated to "bridging your two worlds" will examine how we can assert our authentic selves both inside and outside the digital world. How do we maintain our cultural, social, and political independence in the face of “Big Tech” and the major global transformations we are facing? Given the power of tech (both positive and negative), how can we reaffirm a balance between ourselves, our communities, and our environment? What are some lessons for young people who are immersed in the digital world? What is the relationship between actual vs performative expressions using technology? Representatives from Gen Z for Change, Tech(nically) Politics, Civics Unplugged, and #HalftheStory will convene.

September 24, 2022
6:00 pm
 - 8:00 pm
Watch video
Panel of Speakers
Larissa May
Founder #HalftheOther Story

Larissa May (Larz) is a global marketing guru and founder of #HalfTheStory, a non-profit dedicated to empowering the next generation's relationship with social media. In 2020, Larz was named one of Business Insider's Rising Stars in Brand Marketing for her role in launching multiple million dollar ventures (Otherland and Kin Euphorics). She also created a grassroots community that pioneered a nationwide conversation about the importance of digital wellbeing for youth. Her efforts in community building have led to the founding of the Global Day of Unplugging, an internationally recognized day to divest from technology and plug back into life. Larz has been dubbed a Digital Wellness activist by Time, Forbes, Refinery29, Good Morning America, and NBC. To date, #HalfTheStory has become a leading youth 501(c)3, receiving over 30,000 stories from 99 countries around the world. From political figures, to leaders in tech, Larissa’s work has permeated all facets of life and business and her voice continues to carry a new generation of digital activists.

Aliza Kopans
Co-Founder of Tech(nically) Politics

Aliza Kopans is class of '25 at Brown University and a Digital Wellness Youth Activist serving on Fairplay's Action Network Advisory Board and LookUp.Live's Teen Leadership Council. Aliza has reached thousands of people through written publications, webinars, podcasts, and community involvement, dedicated to creating change towards a human—not screen—focused world. She is also Co-Founder of Tech(nically) Politics, a movement dedicated to changing digital regulation laws to ensure online platforms prioritize users' well-being over profit.

Thanasi Dilos
Co-Founder Civics Unplugged

Thanasi's goal is to assemble the impact avengers and build things that do good.
In his senior year of High School (2020), he co-founded Civics Unplugged, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social enterprise that trains and funds young civic innovators across the globe. To date, Civics Unplugged has worked with 2,500 fellows from all 50 States and 74 countries around the world. CU Fellows have been appointed to office, admitted to top universities, and raised a combined $2,000,000 in impact capital. After graduating high school, he chose not to attend college and focus 100% on building various social impact organizations including: Gotham Labs, a venture accelerator assembling the social impact avengers, investting in regenerative economics with Aera Force, and The Dream DAO, which funds and mentor young people to work in web3 x social impact.

Jules Terpak
Digital Wellness Creator

Jules Terpak is a video-first content creator who covers tech and digital culture and writes advice columns for The Washington Post.

Jack Petocz
Political Strategy Associate at Genz for Change

Jack Petocz is an 18-year-old student activist from Flagler County, Florida. He is known for organizing nationwide walkouts in opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, drawing thousands of peaceful student protesters. Jack is the founder and executive director of his own activism organization, Recall FCSB, which encourages students to act upon bigotry rampant within his local school board. Most notably, his group fought discriminatory book banning, being featured in MSNBC, the New York Times, and Nightline. In addition, he is the political strategist at Gen-Z For Change, a nonprofit leveraging the tool of social media for progressive change, where he is currently focused on midterms.
Jules Terpak is a video-first content creator who covers tech and digital culture and writes advice columns for The Washington Post.

Nick Johnson
First Pokemon Go player to catch all 142 Pokemon in the US

Nick Johnson is the first Pokémon Go player to catch all the available Pokémon in America. And then he went on a mission across the globe for the rest.

Marshall Davis Jones
Voice Artist, and Coach

Marshall Davis Jones is a master communicator.

He has written and voiced for companies like Microsoft, SAP and the Four Seasons.

He’s performed and taught performance as an ambassador for the US Embassy in Trinidad and El Salvador.

As a voice coach he has worked with renowned speakers, industry leaders and various organizations from youth development to law enforcement. 

He sits on the advisory board for tech companies as an expert on human vocal performance.

Besides writing and performing poetry globally, he has been a narrative consultant for two documentaries (one winning the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award).

He appears as himself in Ray Romano’s Tribeca Film Festival acclaimed Somewhere in Queens.

He’s also had poems flown by NASA into space. That was fun.

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Our Avatars, Ourselves
Marshall Davis Jones, Nick Johnson, Jack Petocz, Jules Terpak, Thanasi Dilos, Aliza Kopans, Larissa May
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