Equitable Technology Policy Initiative
Ensuring the participation and protection of Black, Latinx, & Native communities in
the technology economy
At this moment in our country, we believe technology is central to the fight for racial justice. And, we believe that policy change is critical to transforming systems and structures preventing the full participation and protection of communities of color across the technology ecosystem.
We have developed a framework for systemic change that outlines a set of nine core technology policy areas that call for expanded access to technology pathways, increased tech accountability and worker protections, and greater investment in infrastructure and innovation.
Addressing the Issue
Through our investments in research, programs, and partner organizations, we aim to:
(A) build awareness about the need for equitable technology policy and specifically, awareness about our nine technology policy priorities
(B) build infrastructure and capacity for non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, researchers, and individuals to understand trends, develop solutions, and take action to advance equitable tech policy
(C) drive collective advocacy leading to policy change across federal, state, and local levels and within the private sector.
Our Areas of Action
Expand Access to Tech Pathways
This involves expanding access and participation in K-12 computer science (CS) education, closing racial equity gaps, and investing in new models of inclusive tech workforce development, including new models for upskilling, reskilling, and hiring.
Promote Tech Accountability & Protections
Expanding tech company workforce data collection, reporting, transparency, and accountability, while also expanding tech worker protections, including whistleblower protections, gig worker safety nets, and unions, to ensure equitable labor practices. We will work to ensure tech platforms are held accountable for harassment, violence, discrimination, mis/disinformation, and combat the harmful consequences of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and create standards for the future development and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
Increase Tech Infrastructure and Innovation Investments
We do this by closing the digital divide through universal high-speed broadband access and adoption. We also aim to increase deployment of capital to diverse startup entrepreneurs, fund managers, and ecosystem-building organizations to support diversity in tech innovation. Lastly, we’ll support progressive taxation policies that ensure the wealth created by technology companies is reinvested in communities of color historically excluded from the technology sector.
Organizations the Foundation is Supporting
Through our investments in research, programs, and partners, we aim to build knowledge and awareness about these nine technology policy priorities, build capacity to develop solutions and take action, with the ultimate goal of catalyzing collective advocacy towards policy change.
We have jump started these efforts this past year by awarding over $5.3M in grants to the following organizations:
Join the Discussion
Tech at the Center in the Fight for Racial Justice:
Hear from Dr. Allison Scott, Ph.D., CEO of the Kapor Foundation, Lili Gangas, Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center as well as some of our grant partners at Consumer Reports (Leah Fischman and Amira Dhalla) and The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University (Maria Madison, Ph.D., Alexandra Piñeros-Shields, Ph.D., and Janelle Ridley). We’ll be sharing additional partners in the future.
Fight For Our Future: How The Fate of Our Democracy Impacts Tech Policy
We hosted a national voter engagement virtual forum that brought together our civic engagement partners to raise awareness on how tech platforms are impacting their voter engagement work and overall impact on democracy due to mis/disinformation.
Derrick Johnson, NAACP
Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino
Rev. Barbara Skinner, Faiths United to Save Democracy
Damon Hewitt, Lawyer’s Committee For Civil Rights
DeJuana Thompson, Woke Vote