Digital Conversations

Count Us In: Showing Up For the Census Right Now

Presented by SF Urban Film Fest & YBCA & Art+Action   |  

June 30, 2020, 4–5 PM

SF Urban Film Fest and YBCA present Count Us In: Showing Up For the Census Right Now, a virtual conversation about the importance of the Census for San Francisco and the Bay Area. Despite the contentious history of the Census, it remains a critical tool for local and national change. The conversation will unpack how Census participation connects to the urgent matters at hand: the senseless violence and oppression of the Black community and the necessary dismantling of a police force that perpetuates the inequities of our nation. The conversation will also center the power of the Census in supporting political representation, public resource allocation, identifying and counting communities, and how the Census addresses police brutality.

Panelists include community leader Del Seymour, founder of Code Tenderloin, a barrier removal and workforce development non-profit that aims to remove barriers for economic well-being obstructing underserved communities in San Francisco; Tyra Fennell, the CEO of Imprint City, an organization activating underutilized areas within neighborhoods through arts projects that encourage increased foot traffic in support of local merchants; and Robert Clinton, city wide Census project manager for the San Francisco Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA). The panel will be introduced by YBCA CEO Deborah Cullinan and moderated by Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco and SF Urban Film Fest Humanities Advisor, Ron Sundstrom.

Count Us In: Showing Up For the Census Right Now is part of YBCA’s Come to Your Census: Who Counts in America? digital art and civic experience. This collaboration with Art+Action is part of the COME TO YOUR CENSUS campaign—powered by San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA)—which hopes to mobilize the public to take the 2020 U.S. Census to be counted to receive their fair share of funding and political representation for the next decade.

Robert Clinton

Robert Clinton is the 2020 Census Project Manager at San Francisco’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA). He is leading the effort to develop a plan of action that enables and encourages everyone in the City to participate in the upcoming enumeration. A Bay Area native, Robert is also a Marshall Scholar with an MPA in Public Administration and Management and MSc in Sustainable Urbanism, both from University College London.

Tyra Fennell

Tyra Fennell

Tyra Fennell is the founding director of Imprint City, an organization activating underutilized areas in neighborhoods with arts projects that encourage increased foot traffic in support of local merchants. She co-authored legislation with support from former District 10 Supervisor, Malia Cohen to designate the Bayview Hunters Point as San Francisco’s African American Arts and Cultural District. Tyra also serves as an advisor for the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on public art selections connected to projects along the Southeast sector in San Francisco. Tyra additionally worked in partnership with a coalition of arts stakeholders in San Francisco to pass Proposition E, legislation to support funding for youth arts programs, artists, cultural centers, cultural districts, arts organizations, and more through a portion of the Hotel Tax.

Tyra serves on San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force and co-founder of the San Francisco Eastern Neighborhoods Democratic Club (San Francisco) where she currently serves as the vice president of membership. Additionally, Tyra serves on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) as well as a Film Commissioner and an Emerge California Alum. Tyra is a proud, legacy graduate of Howard University. 


Del Seymour

Del Seymor is a community leader in the Tenderloin advocating for the care and concerns of his wonderful but marginalized community for over 35 years.

Ten years ago, Seymour started the Tenderloin Walking Tours to expose and promote a formerly neglected community. Since its inception, he has guided close to 46,000 visitors on a rich cultural journey towards a better understanding of the barriers that exist for homeless individuals in this unique community. He founded Code Tenderloin five years ago to educate and train people in life transitions to work in high paying jobs within the tech industry. Code Tenderloin is a Black-led and staffed organization with lived experiences in the justice system, homelessness, low wage jobs, and recovery programs. Using volunteers from the tech community, Code Tenderloin has educated and placed several hundred unemployed and marginalized individuals into jobs and housing, with several graduates now in positions earning over $100,000 per year. 

Currently, Seymour serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors and Development Chair for Swords to Plowshares, a non-profit organization that provides needs assessment and case management, employment, training, housing, and legal assistance to roughly 3,000 veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area each year.

Several years ago, he was appointed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to sit on the Local Homeless Coordinating Board at City Hall, where he now serves as Co-Chair. He is also a board member of the Tenderloin Health Improvement Partnership through Dignity Health/St Francis Foundation and serves on the Department of Public Works’ Better Market Project committee.

In 2018, Seymour was awarded the Veteran of the Year Award by The California State Assembly District 17, and this year he was awarded the San Francisco Community Leadership Award by the San Francisco Foundation.


Ron Sundstrom

Ronald R. Sundstrom is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. He is also a member of the African American Studies, and the Critical Diversity Studies programs. In addition to his serving the SF Urban Film Fest as its Humanities Advisor, he is also a co-convener of the Black Philosophy Consortium and involved with academic organizations seeking to build bridges between academic philosophy and public policy, such as the Public Philosophy Network, the North American Society for Social Philosophy, and the Philosophy of the City Research Group. His areas of research include philosophy of race, political and social philosophy, justice and ethics in urban policy, and African American and Asian American philosophy. He published several essays and a book in these areas, including The Browning of America and The Evasion of Social Justice (SUNY 2008). His current book project is titled Just Shelter: Integration, Gentrification and Racial Equality (Oxford, forthcoming).

About SF Urban Film Fest

SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF) gathers a diverse, engaged audience and uses the power of storytelling to spark discussion and civic engagement around urban issues, asking what it means to live together in the city and make urban planning more equitable and inclusive.

The SF Urban Film Fest theme for 2020 explores Place and the Populist Revolt, investigating how cities are ground zero for the struggle to find or hold on to a place, for both incumbents and newly arrived. But even as there are attempts to build walls and to exclude others, the human spirit lives in expressions of belonging and resistance to exclusion. Each film screening is followed by a discussion around developing community-centered solutions to ground audiences in the spirit of place.

More about SF Urban Film Fest here →