FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE–June 23, 2020

Dynisha Hugle Becomes First Black Woman in National Network to Lead Statewide Data Department

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is proud to announce the promotion of Dynisha Hugle to Statewide Data & Targeting Director. At just 25 years old, Ms. Hugle will become the first Black woman to run a statewide data department anywhere in the State Voices national network.

NEW ORLEANS, LA | June 23, 2020—Dynisha Hugle’s hard work and commitment to community has culminated in her becoming the first Black woman to run a statewide data department among the more than 20 state tables in the State Voice network, after recently being promoted to Data & Targeting Director. Earning her way to this position at just 25 years old speaks to the immense value Dynisha brings to the Power Coalition for Equity and Justice (PCEJ–http://powercoalition.org), and the appreciation and admiration she’s earned for innovating and taking our work to the next level.

While Dynisha is young, she has been doing this work for several years already, starting her career with our partner organization, VAYLA New Orleans.

“In 2016, I began working with data regularly as a way to measure the effectiveness of the Civic Engagement program I was leading at VAYLA New Orleans, under the leadership of Minh Nguyen,” said Dynisha. “My goal was to deepen our impact with infrequent voters of color to increase their turn out. What I learned is that each data point represents a person or characteristic of a person. And that this idea would be about something more than data, more than algorithms, but about people. Often, in communities of color, data is used as an instrument of oppression, reinforcing inequality and perpetuating injustice, like redlining or even more recent trends like predictive policing.”

“Dynisha went from the field to data very quickly,” according to State Voices Deputy Director of Data & Technology, East, Brandon Jessup. “We always want to recognize people coming from the grassroots, and Dynisha is not only great with data, she’s also a great organizer. She’s willing to take on challenges. She solves problems on the fly. She’s committed to excellence, and her data always reflects the Power Coalition’s mission to improve civic engagement among people of color in Louisiana.”

Promoting Dynisha is also a reflection of PCEJ’s dedication to hiring, developing, and promoting women, and especially Black women.

“We have been intentional about investing in young women of color,” said PCEJ Executive Director Ashley Shelton. “In the data field that’s especially important because it’s dominated by men, and there are few people of color. Dynisha, from her very first day, has been an innovator in the field, working tirelessly with our partners and elevating the work of the Power Coalition.”

Dynisha herself is well aware of how important it is that she blaze a trail for other Black women in the data and community organizing fields.

“Now that I am leading Power Coalition’s Data and Targeting work, I hope to provide opportunities to change our communities’ relationship with data and use it as an agent for equity and justice,” Ms. Hugle said. “I also want to provide a pipeline for local Black women who are interested in using data for social change. I will continue to build the data capacity of our partners by administering an inclusive culture, because representation and inclusion in data collection are crucial to our success.”

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice works to build voice and power in traditionally ignored communities, with a focus on communities of color. We are a coalition of groups from across Louisiana whose mission is to organize in impacted communities, educate and turn out voters, and fight for policies that create a more equitable and just system in Louisiana.

The State Voices network is a multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural community of advocates, activists and organizers committed to building people power to transform the lives of our communities—especially those who experience oppression. We believe that a healthy democracy is one in which everyone is engaged, represented, listened to and supported regardless of race, gender, immigration status, sexuality, ability, religion, or class. Our network of nonpartisan state coalitions, called “tables,” works with hundreds of grassroots organizations to break down barriers to civic participation and to bring underrepresented and marginalized populations―and their issues―to the center of public discourse.

What: Power Coalition promotes Dynisha Hugle to Data & Targeting Director, making her, at 25 years old, the first Black woman to lead a statewide data department at any organization within the State Voices network.

Contacts:

Ashley Shelton, Executive Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (225) 802-2435, ashelton@powercoalition.org

Peter Robins-Brown, Communications Director, Power Coalition for Equity and Justice, (504) 256-8196, prb@powercoalition.org