The Archewell Foundation believes that new innovations in technology and media should strengthen our communities, empower families, restore trust in information, and ensure that all of us—especially our children and grandchildren—can experience a better and safer world online.
That’s why today we’re announcing a series of philanthropic grants in organizations that have taken a lead in improving our digital community. The Archewell Foundation is continuing its ongoing support and partnership with UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), Color Of Change and URL Media. We are also investing in new and exciting work at Cortico’s Local Voices Network (a collaboration with MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication) from MIT Media Lab and The Institute for Rebooting Social Media at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, which today launched a new fellowship that will bring together renowned experts and new innovators from diverse perspectives to address the challenges and opportunities of social media.
In a relatively short period of time, the digital age has rewritten how we experience everyday life. In many ways, technology has connected us, made our lives more productive, and allowed people in every part of the world to organize for change and support communities in need. Yet this age has also ushered in significant consequences. We don’t trust basic information, the safety and health of our kids are at risk, civil rights and human rights are being threatened, and marginalized communities are being targeted by a barrage of hate and vitriol.
Technology itself has far outpaced our ability to reckon with its effects, and this is only going to magnify as we enter a new generation of emerging technologies. Many of the underlying societal issues created by technology remain unaddressed.
At The Archewell Foundation, we are committed to convening, bridging, and accelerating leaders, ideas, and solutions for an online community rooted in equity, safety, participation, and belonging.
You can read more about our newly announced grants below.
The Archewell Foundation has an ongoing partnership with the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), which includes supporting a new initiative committed to advancing digital civil rights. The Archewell Foundation’s latest investment will support this important initiative as well as the work being developed by the Center’s existing network of faculty, students, researchers, activists, and artists who are committed to racial justice, democracy, and civil and human rights at the intersection of tech and society.
The Archewell Foundation has partnered with Color Of Change — the nation’s largest online racial justice organization — to support their work in the fight for tech justice, leading campaigns to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and championing solutions that move society forward. This work includes efforts such as “Beyond the Statement Tech” their affirmative framework that guides tech corporations on how to make racial justice a reality within and outside of their corporations and #ChangeIndustries, an initiative that secures commitments from Hollywood, music and fashion industries to hold them accountable for advancing racial justice for Black people. Last year, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex joined Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change, in a virtual WIRED panel on misinformation titled “The Internet Lie Machine.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also backed a coalition effort to combat online hate speech that Color of Change helped lead in 2020.
Working in cooperation with the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, Cortico has built a new kind of conversation platform for bringing people together in recorded small-group conversations around their lived experiences. The platform – the Local Voices Network – combines deep listening with artificial intelligence and natural language processing to identify what really matters to our underheard communities and surface new local voices into public dialogue and decision making. The Archewell Foundation is supporting these efforts to combine technological innovation, scalable transparency, and community-centered engagement.
The Archewell Foundation is supporting the Institute for Rebooting Social Media, a new three-year initiative at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The Institute is addressing society’s most urgent concerns surrounding social media, including hate speech and harassment, misinformation, and privacy. The Archewell Foundation’s ongoing engagement will help amplify projects within the Institute, connecting them to culture and narrative change efforts. Archewell Foundation will also support the new RSM Assembly Fellowship that will run during the 2022-2023 academic year. The fellowship will bring together renowned experts and new innovators from diverse backgrounds to collaborate on impact-oriented projects that address the challenges and opportunities of social media.
URL Media is a new multi-platform network of high-performing Black and Brown owned media organizations. Under the leadership of S. Mitra Kalita and Sara Lomax-Reese, URL has a mission to serve communities that have often been overlooked and undervalued, and to build a network of community-centered media organizations that are trusted and respected. The Archewell Foundation’s contribution helps URL better build and support its talent pipeline, through cohorts and training opportunities, and ensures media outlets around the country reflect diverse leadership and amplify diverse storytelling.