Barni is a documentary filmmaker and community organizer with 20 years of experience using digital storytelling to mobilize communities to win campaigns and shift policy.
Since Barni joined the CURYJ team she has expanded the CURYJ vision of a communications department to include storytelling and popular culture strategies. She has recorded and edited videos that have received over 11,000 views on social media. One of her short videos brought in a grant for arts and activism.
Barni brings the same approach she has to documentary filmmaking to her work with CURYJ—those most impacted by injustice are the most qualified to tell their own stories. Barni worked with Dream Beyond Bars fellows to produce their own short films that tell their journey to become young leaders. She believes that telling your story can be both empowering and healing.
Barni reenvisioned the CURYJ instagram account to be a hub for popular education and for organizing. Her vision is for CURYJ to be an online thought-leader for systems impacted young people across California, transmitting important social justice issues to our base including prison abolition and #DefundOPD. Since she started in August of 2019 the CURYJ social media presence has grown 525% and their response rate to communications has tripled. She created CURYJ Moves, an online community to organize protests, digital actions, and rapid response to support young people.
Barni also manages media relations at CURYJ and has brought much needed infrastructure including templates and targeted press lists to the team. She has pitched successful stories with national platforms including The Guardian and Huffington Post.
Barni leads the Digital Organizing team and is committed to their personal growth and professional development. She leads by providing a structure for regular organization-wide assessment, strategic planning, metrics, and infrastructure tools that help their daily work. Barni and Daniel Mendoza are the de facto IT team at CURYJ and have implemented training and IT support for the CURYJ family.