Garlin Gilchrist II

Public Speaker, Father, and Project Manager in Detroit, Michigan

Garlin Gilchrist II

Public Speaker, Father, and Project Manager in Detroit, Michigan

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I am the founding Executive Director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan School of Information. Social media is the lens through which many people view the world. The Center's mission is to work with researchers, consumers, media makers, and the platforms themselves to understand how reliable—and unreliable—information flows through these networks and develop solutions on how to foster healthy interactions between people.

I ran for Detroit City Clerk in 2017, rising from 2% in early primary polls to losing the general election by less than 1,500 votes. We implemented a never-seen-in-Detroit multi-platform engagement plan that used highly targeted social media, text messaging, phone calls, radio commercials, TV ads, and door-knocking to earn votes, volunteers, and donors. We earned the support more than 48,000 voters, more than 600 nationwide volunteers, and $270,000 raised from 4,750+ donors from all 50 states.

Prior to that, I was the City of Detroit's first ever Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology. My job was to open up the city's public data and information, and solve problems for the benefit of all Detroiters.

I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013.

After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft, helping build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. At the same time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. I co-founded The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change.

  • Education
    • University of Michigan College of Engineering