Deepfakes, Death Videos and Digital Racism: How AI is (Re)Shaping the Mental Health Landscape for Marginalized Youth 

This presentation will discuss the intersections of AI and mental health for historically marginalized youth, including girls and femmes, queer and trans youth, disabled youth, unhoused and low income youth, and Youth of Color. In particular, we will share examples of popular AI technologies used by and for young people, including social media, virtual and augmented reality, EdTEch and GenAI, and illuminate how algorithmic racism and discriminatory design features within these tools automate, monetize and exacerbate material and discursive violence towards marginalized youth. We simultaneously recognize that young people are not passive victims of algorithmic oppression and AI-mediated trauma, and instead resist, redesign and repurpose these systems in transformative and tech savvy ways. Thus, this talk will also showcase how young people engage in algorithmic resistance, AI activism and digital wellness, and how practitioners in education, mental health and counseling can support these practices in on and offline settings.

Tiera Tanksley, PhD, Presenter
Postdoctoral Fellow in Youth, Technology & Public Policy
[email protected]


Dr. Tiera Tanksley’s scholarship bridges education, Black studies critical science and technology studies (STS) to examine how digital and artificially intelligent technologies impact the lives and schooling experiences of Black youth. In particular, she examines how anti-black logics gets encoded into socio-technical infrastructures of school-based technologies in ways that hide, speed up and automate educational inequity for historically marginalized students, including low income students, queer and trans students, students with disabilities and Students of Color. Her work simultaneously recognizes Black youth as digital activists and civic agitators, and examines the complex ways they subvert, resist and rewrite racially biased technologies to produce more just and joyous digital experiences for Communities of Color across the diaspora.

Dr. Tanksley has been awarded several competitive grants in computer science, robotics and engineering. Most recently, she was awarded an Engineering and AI-Augmented Learning grant for her research on Abolitionist Approaches to AI, in which she collaborates with Black youth to design race-conscious and justice-oriented technologies. In 2023, she was awarded the Op Ed Public Voices in Technology fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation and in 2024 she was named one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics.

Amanda McLeroy, PhD, Presenter
Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development
University of Rochester
[email protected]


Dr. McLeroy is a dedicated researcher investigating the psychological and physiological impacts of racial trauma on adolescents, particularly focusing on the influence of social media exposure, including incidents of police brutality against unarmed Black Americans. Her work delves into the intersectionality of race-based traumatic stress, examining how vicarious experiences of racism shape identity development, academic experiences, and overall worldview among Black adolescents. Through interdisciplinary methodologies, Dr. McLeroy seeks to illuminate the complex mechanisms underlying racial trauma and inform interventions aimed at mitigating its adverse effects while fostering resilience within affected communities.