Sneha Revanur

2021 – CALIFORNIA (SAN FRANCISCO REGION)

Sneha Revanur is a junior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, Calif. As the founder and president of Encode Justice, an international, youth-led organization working to advance racial, social and economic justice in the age of artificial intelligence, she has mobilized hundreds of students across 30+ U.S. states and 20+ countries to fight for an equitable technological future. With roots in local organizing, Encode Justice's first initiative successfully opposed California Proposition 25, which would have mandated the use of racially biased risk assessment algorithms. Now, the organization is resisting government use of facial recognition technology; the software disproportionately misidentifies people of color and has caused the wrongful arrests of three Black men. Encode Justice’s policy, advocacy, education and research initiatives have had a tangible impact. Sneha's work includes helping introduce a surveillance ordinance in San Jose and directly contributing to the passage of a facial recognition ban in Minneapolis; overseeing an AI ethics workshop program that has reached 3,000+ high school students, many of them Black, Brown, and low-income; and training Encode Justice’s cadre of youth lobbyists, who have met with 50+ local, state and federal lawmakers. Sneha wrote and published an op-ed for Teen Vogue about the success of the organization and the importance of student advocacy in the pursuit of algorithmic justice. Outside of Encode Justice, Sneha is the co-editor-in-chief for a youth political journalism collective, a congressional campaign veteran and an avid writer.