The UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry has received a $2.9 million award from the Minderoo Foundation to launch research that explores the intersection of technology, power and society, university officials announced Thursday.
The $2.9 million will establish the Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power at UCLA, creating a hub for research led by the center’s co-directors and co-founders, Safiya Umoja Noble and Sarah T. Roberts. The center was selected by Minderoo Foundation as one of several recipients to join an international network of scholars committed to “challenging the unjust impact of digital technologies on society” through research, education and the arts.
“We are at a critical juncture where abolitionist and restorative interventions must be considered in the face of mounting social harms from internet-based technologies,” Noble said. “Now is the time to support scholars addressing the most pressing harms stemming from digital technologies. We hope this gift is the first of many transformational investments that will help us make a long-term impact for change and repair.”
Noble explained that the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry is an interdisciplinary research center committed to holding those who create unjust technologies and systems accountable for the erosion of equity, trust and participation, and working to reimagine technology, champion racial justice and strengthen democracy.
“This moment is critical in terms of the need to coalesce and consolidate the incredible work of academics and their partners in journalism and civil society and to shine a bright light on the risks we collectively run if the powers of big technology continue unabated,” Roberts said. “At a time when there is a social reckoning toward justice and equity for all people and a deep concern for the health of democracy we believe this work is more relevant than ever. We must ask hard questions of status quo models while we simultaneously imagine a better tech future for us all.”
For more on the tech impact network of which the Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power is now a part, visit futuresays.org.
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