Samuel Sinyangwe

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Samuel Sinyangwe
Sinyangwe stands in front of a painted wall
Born (1990-05-12) May 12, 1990 (age 30)
Alma materStanford University
OccupationPolicy analyst, activist
Era21st century
OrganizationCampaign Zero

Samuel Sinyangwe (born May 12, 1990)[1] is an American policy analyst and racial justice activist. Sinyangwe is a member of the Movement for Black Lives and a co-founder of We the Protestors, a group of digital tools that include Mapping Police Violence, a database of police killings in the United States, and Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. Sinyangwe is a co-host of the Pod Save the People podcast, where he discusses the week's news with a panel of other activists.

Early life[edit]

Sinyangwe was born May 12, 1990 to a Tanzanian father and a Jewish mother who met while studying at Cornell University.[2][3] He grew up in the College Park neighborhood of Orlando, Florida and attended Winter Park High School in the International Baccalaureate program.[4] He has discussed the influence of his upbringing in Florida, where he was a black child often surrounded by white peers, on his eventual career trajectory; he was shaken and moved to action after the 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, where Sinyangwe had regularly attended soccer practice: "I was that kid. I could have been Trayvon. That’s why it hit me so personally and that’s why I realized that needed to be something that took the priority in terms of my focus."[4]

Sinyangwe graduated from Stanford University, where he studied how race intersects with American politics, economics, and class.[5]


Sinyangwe started his career at PolicyLink with the Promise Neighborhoods Institute.[6] As protests emerged in the wake of the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, he connected with Ferguson activists online, ultimately taking a leave of absence from his job to join them in Missouri.[6] With DeRay Mckesson and Johnetta Elzie, he began working to develop policy solutions to address police violence in America.[5] Sinyangwe particularly noticed the absence of official government statistics on police violence and began compiling them from other sources like Fatal Encounters and, in order to challenge claims about police shootings being rare events or only resulting from resisting arrest.[6]

With other activists, Sinyangwe founded We the Protestors, an organization aimed at developing a set of digital tools to support Black Lives Matter activism.[7] We the Protestors projects include a database of police killings, Mapping Police Violence,[8] and a platform of policy solutions to end police violence called Campaign Zero.[9][10] Sinyangwe also serves as a data scientist for, a project focused on state legislatures[11] and with Mckesson and Brittney Packnett founded the Resistance Manual, an open-source project aimed at connecting anti-racist activists with activists focused on intersecting issues.[12]

During the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, Sinyangwe and colleagues met with Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders[13] and Hillary Clinton on these policy issues.[14] He has been a vocal critic of the "Ferguson Effect", using data to refute the theory that policing had diminished and crime increased in face of activist scrutiny of police use of force.[15] Melissa Harris-Perry has compared Sinyangwe to journalist and anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells, noting that Wells began her work by "compil[ing] the data, the social science and research about how, when and where lynchings were happening to begin to make it stop."[6]

Sinyangwe is a co-host of Mckesson's podcast Pod Save the People, which discusses the week's news with a panel of other activists including Mckesson, Packnett and Clint Smith.[16] The podcast particularly focuses on race, grassroots activism, discrimination and other forms of inequality;[17] recommending Pod Save The People in GQ, June Diane Raphael of How Did This Get Made? wrote, "The stories they uplift and think critically about are the ones I'm now wondering why I've never been exposed to/exposed myself to."[18] Sinyangwe has also been featured on CNN,[19] MSNBC,[20] BBC News,[21] FiveThirtyEight,[22] The Los Angeles Times,[23] and other publications. He has written for the Huffington Post and The Guardian.[24]

Awards and fellowships[edit]

In 2017, Sinyangwe was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for law and policy.[25] He was also a 2017 Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Sinyangwe lives in New York City.[3]

Selected writings[edit]

  • "Stop Pretending the 'Ferguson Effect' is Real". Huffington Post. May 13, 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "Giving the 'Ferguson effect' a new name won't make it truer". The Guardian. October 28, 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  • "Examining the Role of Use of Force Policies in Ending Police Violence", Police Use of Force Project, September 20, 2016.


  1. ^
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  3. ^ a b Simon, Mashaun D. (February 8, 2017). "#NBCBLK28: Samuel Sinyangwe: Number cruncher in the fight against systemic racism". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  4. ^ a b Cordeiro, Monivette (March 23, 2016). "How an Orlando data scientist is helping #BlackLivesMatter make the case against police violence". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  5. ^ a b Marusic, Kristina (April 15, 2015). "This Map Of Police Violence Aims To Create A Path To Justice". MTV News. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Richardson, Allissa V. (2018-09-05). "28. The Movement and its Mobile Journalism: A phenomenology of Black Lives Matter journalist-activists". In Eldrige II, Scott; Franklin, Bob (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies. Routledge. ISBN 9781351982085.
  7. ^ Peters, Adele (2016-10-03). "Meet The Startup Building The Digital Civil Rights Movement". Fast Company. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  8. ^ Hellman, Jaime (May 28, 2015). "No clear picture on how many people are killed by police". Al Jazeera America. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  9. ^ Meyerson, Collier. "The latest numbers on police killings show the problem may be worse than we thought". Splinter. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  10. ^ Lawler, Opheli Garcia (May 20, 2017). "Activist Samuel Sinyangwe Sheds Light On Louisiana's Horrible Mass Incarceration Problem". The Fader. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  11. ^ Whack, Errin Haines (April 3, 2017). "Black Lives Matter activists turn attention to statehouses". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  12. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (January 17, 2017). "DeRay and Stay Woke Activists Launch Resistance Manual, an Open-Source Site Designed To Take on Trump". Mediaite. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  13. ^ Liebelson, Dana; Reilly, Ryan J. (16 September 2015). "Black Lives Matter Activists Meet With Bernie Sanders To Make Sure He's On Board". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  14. ^ Liebelson, Dana; Reilly, Ryan J. (9 October 2015). "Inside Hillary Clinton's Meeting With Black Lives Matter". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  15. ^ Hillstrom, Laurie Collier (2018-09-07). Black Lives Matter: From a Moment to a Movement. ABC-CLIO. pp. 120–121. ISBN 9781440865718.
  16. ^ Hutcheson, Susannah (September 11, 2018). "How I became a civil rights activist: DeRay McKesson talks protesting, pursuing justice". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  17. ^ Fadrilan, Katrina (2018-07-26). "5 political podcasts to help you cope with the world's current chaos". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  18. ^ Peele, Anna (2018-07-31). "21 Fresh Podcast Recommendations from All Your Favorite Podcasters". GQ. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  19. ^ "Researcher: 'Police shootings are on the rise'". CNN. April 15, 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  20. ^ "'The Melissa Harris-Perry Show' for Sunday, September 6th, 2015". The Melissa Harris-Perry Show. MSNBC. September 6, 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Why do US police keep killing unarmed black men?". BBC News. May 26, 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  22. ^ Fischer-Baum, Reuben (2015-04-08). "Blacks Are Killed By Police At A Higher Rate In South Carolina And The U.S." FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  23. ^ Pearce, Matt (August 21, 2015). "Activists come up with a plan to end police killings. Here it is". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  24. ^ Sinyangwe, Samuel (May 13, 2016). "Giving the 'Ferguson effect' a new name won't make it truer". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  25. ^ "30 Under 30 2017: Law & Policy". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  26. ^ "Samuel Sinyangwe". Echoing Green. Retrieved 2018-10-08.