What We Do
Technology can empower communities to tell their own stories about who they are, set a vision for the world and society they want to live in, and fight and change the conditions they face.
But while technology is commonly seen as a scientific, unbiased set of tools, its integration into government and business has silently automated many of the social injustices these communities have been fighting for generations.
As grassroots organizations fight to free their communities from oppression, technology—an industry and product whose growth has outpaced federal and local regulation—is quickly becoming a major driving force behind social disparities while being touted as a solution to “unintentional bias.”
While tech justice-focused organizations take on urgent and meaningful fights around surveillance, predictive analytics, and digital inclusion, they are unable to keep up with and stop the acceleration of technology as an accelerating force of oppression, so communities continue to feel the effects of how technology is used within government, policing, business and other sectors of society.
At the same time, many national tech justice-focused organizations fighting for equity in how tech is developed and used in today’s society need more support to craft fights that are accountable to the communities facing these challenges directly.
And while community groups experience the direct impact of technology in their lives and struggles, grassroots organizations, who are often under-resourced and over capacity, need more support to develop strategies that fully anticipate and contend with how technology shapes the systemic oppression they are fighting against.
Without accountable, strategic, and meaningful connections between tech-focused and local community organizations, and without a people-focused vision for the role technology plays within society, our movement for liberation and equity will continue struggling to rein in tech and the harms it perpetuates in favor of more profit and less regulation.
Our purpose is to ensure that social movements contend with the impacts of technology both on human conditions and on the strategy they are building for human liberation.
We will do this by supporting movements to develop a vision for technology that builds towards human liberation, helping people’s organizations assess technology’s aggravating force on their current conditions, supporting them to campaign against that force, and by connecting the existing tech justice and tech policy movements with mass organizing for liberation.
How We Will Meet the Challenge
To meet and overcome the challenges we’ve described above, People’s Tech Project acts within these guiding policies:
We research and track the impacts of technologies on communities, how they accelerate systems of oppression, and how they relate to the core fights of our social movements. We assess the impact of sustained community-based engagement in tech issues and campaigns, where it exists.
We partner with communities to co-create a shared positive vision of technology as a part of human liberation by facilitating and supporting vision development in collaboration with movement leaders, those most impacted by the harms of technology, and other key stakeholders.
We embed directly with issue- and community-based movements and campaign in partnership with those movements by providing analysis of oppressive technologies and helping groups fight both against those harmful technologies and for their vision of liberation.
Through convening and conversation, we ensure that the tech policy movement is accountable to grassroots social movements and their vision.