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Profile picture of Todd Whitney

Todd Whitney

Independent Journalist-Technologist
Just Tech Fellow
Profile picture of Todd Whitney

Todd Whitney is a journalist and technologist whose work uses environmental sensing and community-oriented data frameworks to open up climate justice discourses. By building hardware and designing data collection methods, he develops issue-specific environmental sensing and media projects that help others explore and advocate around their climate priorities and curiosities. He shares his tools and knowledge through teaching, workshops, and publishing. Whitney is a 2023–2024 Impact Fellow at The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, as well as a 2020 Citizen Lab Fellow. Before veering into technology, he was a radio producer at NPR, KALW Public Radio, and Audible. He’s a graduate of New York University’s ITP program and the Afro-American studies program at University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Project Description

Homes are often the site of environmental and urban racial capitalism for people of color. By demystifying indoor air pollution with community-codesigned technologies, Todd Whitney argues that the best environmental futures are forged when communities dictate the data, discourses, and policies they’d like to prioritize.Understanding Our Air aims to bring together data stewards, storytellers, technologists, and climate scientists to explore the unique air quality concerns in communities of color. The current ecosystem of environmental products and services are designed to create consumers, but not communities with good data stewardship practices. By designing air quality monitors and data practices with community input, this project uses open-source hardware technologies as the foundation for community-oriented environmental justice initiatives and narrative patterns.