Sep 30, 2021
Democracy Fund Grant Will Support the Digital Justice Initiative
By: Natasha Mundkur
(Washington, D.C.) –The Democracy Fund recently announced it is awarding over $1 million in grants to support the work of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Digital Justice Initiative (DJI), a project that focuses on the intersection of racial justice, technology, and privacy.
Democracy Fund supports partners such as the Lawyers’ Committee in an effort to support a vibrant and diverse public space, fair elections and effective federal institutions in an inclusive society. The funding will directly support DJI’s efforts to hold Big Tech accountable, combat online discrimination and algorithmic bias, and mitigate the exploitation of private information.
“The intersection between racial justice and technology is pivotal to ensuring equal opportunity and fair treatment,” said David Brody, senior counsel and fellow for privacy and technology with the Digital Justice Initiative at the Lawyers’ Committee. “We applaud Democracy Fund’s commitment to combating digital inequities and protecting the rights of all citizens both on and offline. Just as neighborhood data was used to deny opportunity in the 20th century, today we must ensure that personal data is not used to engage in digital redlining.”
Democracy Fund’s contribution embodies the spirit of President John F. Kennedy’s call to the private bar to help address racial discrimination. The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit racial justice organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 58th year, the Lawyers’ Committee is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.”
“In this mission-critical moment for our democracy, we are proud to be deepening our work with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,” noted Paul Waters, Associate Director of the Public Square Program at Democracy Fund. “As research shows, the algorithms behind social media platforms often amplify existing inequalities and allow for bad actors to manipulate public opinion. Together with the Lawyers’ Committee, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make social media companies liable for their harms, to rein in the worst aspects of their business model, and to force changes in how they operate. We are grateful for the Lawyers’ Committee and their efforts to make the promise of a multiracial and pluralistic democracy real, and we look forward to continuing our efforts together.”
In this historic moment where the need to protect civil rights is critically essential, these additional resources will make a considerable impact on the organization’s ability to carry out its work and to put needed resources in communities where they will have the most profound impact.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.