Raj Jayadev started Silicon Valley De-Bug in 2001 as a grassroots community media and organizing collective that existed to be a voice for what he calls the "other side" of Silicon Valley: the low-paid temp workers (like himself) who assembled and manufactured the devices that were taking over the world.
Jayadev has guided the San Jose-based nonprofit through a series of transformations, all, he says, based on the shifting needs of the community. When the father of one of De-Bug's members was wrongfully incarcerated, Jayadev developed what he calls participatory defense--the idea that friends and family members of the accused can have a real impact on court outcomes. He has since raised more than $1 million for participatory defense and launched hubs in more than 20 cities around the country. The hubs serve as places for friends and family to learn how to impact a court case, which might include scanning police files for inconsistencies or building a personal resume for the accused that might help a judge learn who they are outside of their case file. The practice has so far freed more than 600 people from incarceration.