Introducing the Inaugural Cohort of Just Tech FellowsLearn More

Note: The call for applications for the 2022-23 Just Tech Fellowship will be released on December 6, 2022.

The Social Science Research Council seeks applicants for the second cohort of its Just Tech Fellowship.

The Just Tech Fellowship supports and mobilizes diverse and cross-sector cohorts of researchers and practitioners to imagine and create more just, equitable, and representative technological futures. Fellows will identify and challenge injustices emerging from new technologies, and pursue solutions that advance social, political, and economic rights.

Fellows receive two-year awards of $100,000 annually, robust supplementary funding packages to subsidize additional expenses, and seed funding to work on collaborative projects with other Just Tech Fellows. The fellowship provides the space and time necessary for deep reflection, an engaged community, and opportunities for ambitious co-creation.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The last day to submit Full Application Materials is January 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Description

New technologies have opened doors to connection, creativity, learning, and justice, but emergent benefits and harms have not been distributed equally. From artificial intelligence to data harvesting to the gig economy, new technology has also ushered in more expansive surveillance and given platforms to hate speech and automated discrimination. 

Investigations into the uneven political and social impacts of technology are not well understood by the general public and are too often left out of policy decisions. And the same communities that have pioneered work to uncover the harms of ill-conceived technological designs are subject to historical and ongoing forms of discrimination and are underrepresented in positions of power.

It doesn’t have to be this way. As the world reckons with a global legacy of systemic discrimination and racial injustice, we have an opportunity to reimagine the limits and potential of new technology and to ensure that both expertise and experiential knowledge inform efforts to produce structural change. 

The Just Tech Fellowship and its fellows seek to build toward technological futures that celebrate and manifest justice, equity, agency, knowledge, and joy.

Just Tech takes a capacious view of “researchers and practitioners.” Just Tech Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and work across a range of fields and practices, including the arts, journalism, civil society, and the social sciences, the humanities, and computer science. By supporting a vibrant network that reflects diverse communities and life experiences, Just Tech will identify solutions that protect and expand expand social, political, and economic justice and challenge persistent inequities.

“The Just Tech Fellowship creates a community of leaders moving from ‘we know this isn’t working for us’ to ‘let’s build something that actually does work for us’ […] That is amazing at a time when optimism feels a little scarce.”

-Nabiha Syed, Just Tech Advisory Board Member and President, The Markup.

Meet the 2022-2024 Fellows

Kim Gallon, founder of COVID Black, an organization that has taken on racial health disparities throughout the pandemic by telling empowering stories about Black life, will create a justice-centered framework for the design and development of health information technology.

Chris Gilliard, a community college professor and widely published critic and advocate for civil rights in tech, will map novel surveillance practices and technologies to create a taxonomy for identifying and assessing their social impact and risk for marginalized communities.

Christine Miranda, a community organizer and digital director with Movimiento Cosecha, a national movement fighting for immigrants’ rights, will research and develop shared resources for decentralized digital organizing strategies.

Clarence Okoh, a civil rights attorney, will analyze the impact of carceral technologies on the civil and human rights of Black students in public school systems with longstanding histories of systemic racial discrimination.

Meme Styles, founder of MEASURE, a social enterprise creating antiracist evaluation tools and providing free data support for Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led organizations, will develop a data-sharing tool to enable strategic collaboration.

Rua Williams, a computer graphics designer and disability justice advocate, will partner with adaptive technology users, developers, and user-experience designers to develop a collective “Cyborg Maintenance” approach to advancing collective self-determination by eliminating barriers to equipment access, maintenance, and customization.

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