Why We Want You to Slide into our DMs

What Direct Message means to the Millennial Fellows

Dear reader,

We’re so happy you found your way to our little slice of the internet where we plan to produce content that is – just as our tagline says – candid, personal, and to the point. While we live in a 140-character world, we know that greater engagement and deeper understanding are just a DM away.

But, really, why Direct Message? Why DM? Well, as our director said, we’re millennials, of course.

While that's true, we also want to bring larger policy and cultural conversations directly to you. Our cohort aims to contribute to an online space where ideas are communicated in a concise, plain, and intimate manner.

We are not confined to just text, though. By putting on our many different hats and utilizing our deep skill sets, we want to communicate and engage with you on issues of policy outside of traditional think tank and blogging boundaries.

Just as you can slide into someone’s DMs to have a truly substantive conversation that just so happens to take place entirely via emojis or memes, we plan to use the myriad mediums available to us – short videos, photo-essays, op-ed and reviews, and maybe even a podcast – to dive deep into the pressing policy issues of the current moment.

Though our generation is defined by its diversity, and our cohort itself is incredibly diverse in terms of lived experiences, backgrounds, and policy interests, we understand that we sit in a privileged position. We cannot speak for all millennials, nor do we want to. The insights and analysis we will provide over the course of the next nine months will not represent those of all millennials – an impossible task.

That said, while the work that we will produce may not explicitly be filtered through a generational lens, by writing and creating content as our authentic selves, we inherently make this a generational conversation. By exploring the culture around policies that shape our lives as young folks, we make this a generational conversation.

So, dear reader, what can you expect from Direct Message?

Every month in our Caffeinated Commentary series, we will each present a piece of content that addresses a larger theme that we’ve collectively decided upon. We’ll tee up each month’s CC theme with an introduction, and close out the month with a short piece of reflection. And all throughout, you’ll find cross-postings of work we’re doing in our individual New America policy programs.

We are ten young millennials at the onset of our professional careers attempting to begin and continue conversations on policy issues that we care deeply about.

We cannot wait for you to join us in the DMs.

Authors:

Emma Coleman is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Public Interest Technology program. She received a BA from Stanford University in international relations and comparative studies in race and ethnicity.

Spandana Singh is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Open Technology Institute. She is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Myacah Sampson is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Family-Centered Social Policy program. Sampson is from Farmington, N.M. She holds a B.A. in public policy and ethnic studies from Brown University.

Becky Chao is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Open Technology Institute. Chao is a native New Yorker who graduated from Duke University, where she studied public policy studies, linguistics, and economics.

Christian Hosam is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Political Reform program. Hosam graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in African American studies and government.

Roselyn Miller is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow for New America’s Better Life Lab. Miller, a Long Beach, Calif. native with roots in the Bay Area, holds a bachelor of arts in anthropology from Stanford University.

Dillon Roseen is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow in New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative. Roseen, from Peachtree City, Ga., was a Fulbright Scholar in Amsterdam where he conducted research on the intersection of law, politics, and international security. 

Jenny Muñiz is a Millennial Public Policy Fellow for New America’s Education Policy program. A native of Compton, Calif., Muñiz has most recently spent time working as a bilingual teacher in San Antonio Public Schools as a Teach For America corps member.