Cate Brown

Hi, my name is Cate. I find data and people to build compelling visual stories.

Why Turkey is accused of using water as a weapon

Turkey is using water cuts as a weapon in an ongoing conflict in the Al-Hasakah region in northeast Syria and it’s affecting over a million people who live in the region. We visited several families, including those at al-Hol refugee camp, to understand this little-known water crisis that is making life unbearable for residents. Watch full story —>

What symbols at The Capitol reveal about future threats

Looking more closely at the scenes of insurrection at the US Capitol, we started noticing dozens of symbols everywhere. The details of what people wore and carried revealed a deeper story about possible future threats. We combed through hours of video footage and found evidence of a complex network of groups… Watch full story —>

The price of protesting as immigrants

Phoenix police arrested more than 100 people on the night of May 30th. They pulled many out of their cars and charged everyone with a felony, which they later admitted was a mistake. After 24 hours, all charges had been dropped. And most people went back to their lives, but four immigrants were still locked up... Watch full story —>

The Sexual Harassment (R)evolution

In an exclusive interview with Business Insider Weekly, women's rights attorney Gloria Allred defended the use of NDA agreements and traced the evolution of sexual harassment law in the US. Watch full story —>


Research Case Studies


No. 1 : BLM protestors face deportation

On May 30th, 2020 over 100 protesters were arrested and charged with felonies for rioting after a Black Lives Matter protest in in Phoenix, Arizona. Although The Maricopa County judge quickly dismissed charges brought against the American citizens, the four immigrants swept up that night were not as lucky.


No. 2 : Turkish airstrikes violate the law

On August 7, 2019 the United States and Turkey agreed to establish a ‘safe zone’ in northeast Syria in order to minimize the threat of cross-border attacks by Syrian Kurdish militias. The proposed 30-kilometer safe zone would extend Turkey’s control over key cities in northeast Syria, as well as nearby oil reserves and trucking routes.


No. 3 : Neo-Nazis expand activity online

Right-wing extremists were responsible for 90% of the extremist-related murders in the United States in 2019. This number builds upon a decade-long uptick in violence committed by white ethnonationalist groups, and in a time of heightened surveillance and careful monitoring of online activities, it begs the question why…

Investigation :
No. 4

#ICEAir : How Swift Air obscured calls signs and violated a flight ban in King County, WA

Following the creation of a TwitterBot that tracks #ICEAir call signs by researchers at The University of Washington, this flight mysteriously obscured its call sign mid-air.

Following the creation of a TwitterBot that tracks #ICEAir call signs by researchers at The University of Washington, this flight mysteriously obscured its call sign mid-air.




Cate Brown is an open source researcher and visual designer located in Brooklyn, New York. She strongly believes in the aged advice ‘show, don’t tell’, and is constantly looking for colorful ways to tell a hard story.

Cate works full-time as a Program Manager for The Symposium on Strength and Solidarity for Human Rights, and freelances for Insider’s News and Documentary channel and The Century Foundation as an independent researcher. She has previously worked for The US State Department, Human Rights Watch and Visualizing Palestine, a boutique advocacy group that focuses on elevating human rights in Palestine.

Cate has completed open-source investigation trainings with Bellingcat and The Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at Columbia University.


Other work


Want to demolish a Palestinian home? Call the American Ambassador

The traffic was bad. Saturday night and raining. Abed Sabbagh tapped his fingers on the dashboard of our taxi, gently strumming along to the oud streaming from Bethlehem’s 89.6FM.

I watched as the procession of yellow license plates approached Mazmuriyeh checkpoint, some passing without inspection, others stalled by a throng of Israeli soldiers.


Susya: A Tale of Two Hills

Georges Seurat would have loved to paint the South Hebron Hills. The precision of color lends itself to pointillism: white sheep dotting a saffron slope, green olive groves brushed into a terrace, a broad stroke blue sky.

If he was patient, Seurat would have waited for evening. When the tea comes out and the flocks amble home. 


The era of state mobilization is over: Welcome to the streets

States are no longer trusted as representatives of popular interests or reliable guarantors of human rights, even in democracies. In response, civilian protesters have flooded the streets of major global capitals to demand immediate government action.

In Baku, demonstrators rallied for their right to assembly. In Beirut, citizens are calling for an end to government corruption.


A Warning from Syria: Victory Day is a Long Way off in Ukraine

Western analysis of the war in Ukraine has tended to prematurely—perhaps wishfully—declare victory for Ukraine and defeat for Russia. Policymakers have been more circumspect, but triumphalist public statements in Washington and Europe suggest that many have missed the most glaring lessons from Russia’s intervention in Syria: Vladimir Putin operates on an extended time frame, and views war crimes as a strategic cornerstone rather than an obstacle.


an idea I love:

"Do not separate the hero from the collective. We are in a community of struggle."

— Angela Davis