MozFest 2021 call-for-proposals (CFP) is out! We are working on making MozFest a launchpad for internet health and trustworthy AI collaborations.
Tech for Social Activism space is inviting grassroots community organizers, movement technologists, digital rights activists, change-makers, intersectional feminists, land and water protectors, artists, musicians, storytellers and those actively fighting for social justice to share experiences and strategies for how they harness the Internet of Things and technological tools for mobilizing, direct action, and overall fighting for the future we want for ourselves and underrepresented people.
Conversations we aspire to have:
Tech can be a tool for both liberation and oppression: For example, the U.S. police use of facial recognition, a technology that is error-prone and racially biased, in their work results in black people facing charges at a very high rate compared to white people. Tech companies have been complicit in human rights abuses by aiding the U.S. Immigratoin and Customs Enforcement, deporting migrants and asylum-seekers particularly unaccompanied children and their families. Tech startups in Nigeria have been actively involved in the #EndSARS protests developing applications and websites to document police brutalities. Technology can connect people and movements and be used to polarize a community. It’s never one or the other.Thus, critical and strategic conversations around using technology in activism are necessary. We recognize how taxing fighting for justice across different movements and conversations can be; therefore together, we would explore how to foster a culture of care and finding the balance.
Activism in the New Normal: Since the creation of the internet, the digital space was one of the arenas for fighting for justice. An arena that witnessed its own share of repressive and violent practices in an effort to maintain power within the same actors withhold it in the ground. Recently, Covid19 forced the adoption of digital tools in working with underrepresented people and claiming their rights at a higher speed than normal. Now, the fight for our rights is not only happening in the streets now, it is being reshaped with the new circumstances. We must rethink how activism is perceived in the “new normality” we are experiencing, rethink the role of technology as a tool to mobilize communities and effect change, both positively and negatively.
Activists safety: A key question we are looking to address is how can we build safer spaces. Collaboration and networking are catalysts for a more collective fight for accountability and protection from big tech companies selling harmful tech that is being used to legitimate and maintain oppressive systems/governments/regimes through disinformation, network shutdowns, facial recognition, digital violence and internet censorship.. Tech for Social Activism participants, after sharing and listening to each other’s experiences, can dive into designing solutions geared towards activists’ safety and impact; for example, digital Self Defense for organizers, or how to protect yourself from police surveillance at a protest.
We can approach technology as an enabler to create solidarity and collaboration across and between social justice movements around the globe. A space where we can collectively assemble the first steps on possible strategies on how we can hold different stakeholders accountable is part of what we are hoping to foster in Tech for Social Activism.
Jump with us and apply your proposal to design a session at the Tech for Social Activism Space, in this effort to break down the tech language barrier to a more user-friendly language, helping non-tech activists, community organizers and people in general feel more comfortable using and appropriating technology.