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Democracy South Staff, Key Consultants, and Supporters
Winnett Hagens is Executive Director of Democracy South.
Winnett started with Democracy South in 1998 as a Board Member and came on staff in September of 2001 as the Georgia Research Director. In September of 2001, he was appointed Associate Director; and, in October of 2003, he became Executive Director.
He began his work in voting rights 40 years ago as a leader of a university SNCC affiliate in Iowa City, supporting the of Freedom Schools in Mississippi in 1963-1964. His most intense professional involvement in voting rights occurred between 1989 and 2003 when he played leading roles in both: (1) the establishment of independent, automated redistricting services for minority voters, and (2) meaningful campaign finance reform and election administration reform advocacy. He was co-founder and Co-Director of the Norfolk State University Voting Rights Project (1989-1998). Between 1998 and 2001 he served as Director of the Fair Representation Program at the Southern Regional Council. Winnett is a founding Board Member of the Fannie Lou Hamer Project. Over the last fifteen years he traveled extensively across the South and the nation as a minority voting rights advocate and redistricting expert advocating full enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. His redistricting work in 1990 and 2000 decennial census-reapportionment cycles involved him intimately with dozens of African-American and Latino community-based, grassroots organizations devoted to empowering their constituents through redistricting plans providing fair representation for all. Over his career he has helped raise and manage nearly $1.2 million in grants for voting rights/civic participation programs. In November 2000, Winnett was recognized by the National Voter Fund of the NAACP for his pioneering work mapping African-American voters for GOTV campaigns across the nation. Winnett is an ABD in Political Science (University of Iowa) with nearly two decades of teaching experience in higher educations behind him. He is also a published voting scholar and a 2004 grantee of the prestigious Windcall Residency Program.
Anthony Fairfax is Prime Contractor, Democracy South's Mapping Services.
Anthony began his career working as a Hardware Engineer for Teledyne Inc. (a manufacturing division). After leaving Teledyne in the mid-eighties, Fairfax continued his work experience as an Electrical Engineer for EER Systems (an engineering consulting firm).
In the early nineties, he began consulting using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to provide a variety of services. As a GIS consultant/analyst for Norfolk State University during the early nineties, Fairfax deployed a GIS to develop more than 200 redistricting plans in more than 60 jurisdictions (congressional, state and local) in five states. Fairfax also provided GIS support for a variety of research projects. Throughout this same period he provided expert technical support for two nationally recognized court cases, including the Shaw v. Reno Supreme Court case. During the mid-nineties Fairfax provided a wide range of technical services including GIS training and support to several governmental entities.
In 1996, he coauthored an article, "Precision Voter Targeting: GIS Maps Out a Strategy", which was included in Geo Info Systems' November edition. The article was one of the first of its kind to present a technique that utilizes a GIS to predict voting behavior using Census socioeconomic data at small geographic areas.
In 2001, Fairfax became the Demographer for the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute (CBC Institute). His central responsibility was to perform redistricting research and analysis of congressional districts represented by African Americans. From the Spring of 2001 through the Fall of 2002 Fairfax developed over 75 congressional redistricting plans in 12 different states.
Fairfax holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech. In 2004, MediaChannel Publishing published his first book, A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Census 2000 Data. He is married to Colita Nichols Fairfax and has one daughter, Layla.
The following foundations, organizations and individuals have contributed significant support to Democracy South:
Tides Foundation, www.tides.org
Carnegie Corporation of New York, www.carnegie.org
Democracy-North Carolina, www.democracy-NC.org
Bill Cooper, for his generous in-kind mapping contributions in behalf of Democracy South's clients July 2003-June 2004, www. Fairvote2020.com
Democracy South's Mapping Clients and DemocracyMaps.com members.
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