FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 2, 2023
CONTACT: Kevin Liao, [email protected]
26 Youth-Led Initiatives Join the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund’s Inaugural Cohort to Build a More Inclusive, Equitable, and Accountable Technology Ecosystem
WASHINGTON – The Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund (RTYPF) today announced an inaugural cohort of 26 youth-led initiatives receiving a total of $2 million to support their advocacy for a more inclusive, equitable, and accountable technology ecosystem.
“We – and so many others in our generation – believe technology can and should be a force for good. This grant empowers us to do bigger and better things to build, shape, and steward our work that safeguards our collective wellbeing,” said Sneha Dave, Founder and Executive Director of Generation Patient, one of the 26 organizations in the inaugural RTYPF cohort. “We sincerely thank the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund and its investors for their support and recognition of youth-led organizations at the forefront of this movement.”
The 26 organizations will use these funds to advance their work with projects focused on an array of technology issues ranging from
- Ensuring responsible use of artificial intelligence
- Protecting human rights and removing barriers to safety and well-being
- Improving education access
- Leveraging platforms to address social and environmental challenges, among others
“Societies globally are wrestling with major issues like the youth mental health crisis and the decay of our information environment. What and who can we trust online? Can online spaces be truly safe and affirm well-being? And what new systems can we create with, instead of for, young people?” said Emma Leiken, RTYPF Co-founder; Responsible Technology Team at Omidyar Network. “These questions touch on issues ranging from platform accountability to cybersecurity, privacy, digital literacy, data equity, algorithmic bias, and digital well-being and that’s what this fund’s grantees will tackle.”
The full list of 26 organizations receiving grants and joining Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund’s inaugural cohort are:
- 5Rights Foundation has three interconnected and indivisible areas of work: data and privacy, child-centered design and children’s rights. The organization reimagines the digital world as a place children and young people were afforded their existing right to participate in the digital world creatively, knowledgeably and fearlessly.
- AI Consensus, a student movement sponsored by Minerva University, is dedicated to transforming education by empowering the ethical and responsible use of AI tools. Their mission is anchored in fostering dialogues that bring together diverse perspectives and a deep passion for learning.
- Center for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University (Youth Empowerment Initiative) is a research and policy center at Teachers College, Columbia University, whose mission is to strengthen educational rights and is the convener of DemocracyReady NY, a statewide, nonpartisan, multigenerational coalition committed to civic education and preparing all students to live engaged civic lives.
- Center for Intimacy Justice is a nonprofit changing tech platforms’ discriminatory suppression of women’s health information online. They lead investigations, legal actions, and multi-pronged media and advocacy strategies to change biased tech practices that censor women’s health.
- Civics Unplugged provides young people with the training, funding, and community they need to become civic innovators.
- Connected Camps leads with the mission to build a safe and empowering global online community where kids build, code, play, mentor, and learn from one another. To accomplish this, they tap the power of youth tech experts to teach and mentor.
- Cyber Collective translates complex tech topics around cybersecurity and data privacy to empower people to think critically about the internet and inspire a more socially responsible future.
- Design It For Us are young people taking on Big Tech. They aim to drive and achieve key policy reforms to protect kids, teens, and young adults online through the mobilization of youth activists, leaders, and voices.
- Detroit Heals Detroit exists to foster healing justice for Detroit youth and transform their pain into power. With a goal to combat trauma, they use healing centered engagement to share their greatest vulnerabilities with the rest of the world while simultaneously working to dismantle oppressive systems for marginalized Detroit youth.
- Encode Justice is a coalition of youth activists and change makers fighting for human rights, accountability, and justice in artificial intelligence. Harnessing a global network of volunteers from all over the United States and world, they champion informed AI policy and encourage youth to confront the challenges of the age of automation through political advocacy, community organizing, educational programming, and content creation.
- Future Incubator is the leading resource hub for youth-led organizing projects and groups across the US. They aim to lower the accessibility barrier to organizing by acting as a bridge between young people organizing at the grassroots, and resources, funding, and institutions often inaccessible or unavailable to youth.
- Gen-Z for Change is a collective of Gen-Z activists that leverages the power of social media to drive progressive change. The organization uses innovative digital tools to build generational power and disrupt existing power structures.
- Generation Patient represents adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions across the United States and internationally. They focus on peer support, advocacy, and access to educational information and resources as fundamental pathways to empowerment.
- GoodforMEdia is a youth-driven peer-mentoring program that supports young people’s healthy social media engagement by creating a space where older teens and young adults share personal stories, insights, and strategies with younger teens and tweens.
- #HalfTheStory is the pioneering non-profit on a mission to empower the next generation’s relationship with technology through research, education, and advocacy.
- Institute for Strategic Dialogue is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding democracy and human rights and reversing the rising tide of polarization, extremism and disinformation worldwide.
- Log Off empowers young people to rethink and rebuild their relationship with social media.
- NextGen Connect is a youth-led, intergenerational think tank that provides youth with a runway for their ideas, energies, and endeavors, so that they can effectively educate and advocate for tech accountability. Their program is grounded in the belief that youth have a vision for responsible technology, and we offer them the resources they need to succeed as well as the respect and freedom to execute their projects and make real changes.
- Our Subscription to Addiction is a documentary that depicts the raw and vulnerable experience of a student filmmaker grappling with phone addiction after deleting her social media. As she discovers three members of her generation that have joined forces to lead a digital wellbeing movement, she is inspired to publicize their activism and empower the rest of her generation to take back control of their relationship with their phone.
- Public Knowledge promotes freedom of expression, an open internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works. They work to shape policy on behalf of the public interest.
- Reboot is a publication and community reimagining techno-optimism for a better collective future.
- ReThink Citizens leads with a mission to tackle cyberbullying and foster digital literacy by equipping all youth with the tools and education they need to safely take on today’s digital world.
- Seattle Student Union fights for student needs, uniting the south and north ends of Seattle. They stand up for abortion rights, climate justice, mental health support, Black Lives Matter, gun violence prevention, and other progressive causes.
- Seek Common Ground and its Student Action Network for Equity supports student organizers advancing democracy, racial justice, and education equity.
- The STEAM Connection is on a mission to make technical education accessible for Indigenous youths through the power of culturally responsive robotics.
- Young People’s Alliance Education Fund empowers young people through student-led organizing and advocacy. Their student advocates work at colleges across North Carolina, state legislatures, and on Capitol Hill to amplify youth voices.
Learn more about the Responsible Technology Youth Power Fund and their inaugural cohort at: www.rtyouthpower.org.
The organizations partnering to invest into the fund are Omidyar Network, Hopelab, Susan Crown Exchange, The Archewell Foundation, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Carmel Hill Fund, Data Funders Collaborative, Flourish Impact Fund, New Media Ventures, Oak Foundation, The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Pivotal Ventures, Reynolds Lookup Fund, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.