Digital Democracy

Creating Safer, More Inclusive Technology and Digital Media

In the United States, more and more of our lives — from education to healthcare — take place online. For too many people, especially communities of color, using the internet can be unaffordable, inaccessible, or even dangerous. Once online, many people face hate, harassment, and misinformation aimed at them. To create a more equitable society, we must invest in Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) movements, leadership, and power that hold social media companies and policymakers accountable.

Our Approach

For far too long, technology has undermined movements for justice and democracy. Our Digital Democracy initiatives seek to break this pattern by investing in leaders and movements who can ensure media and technology serves BIPOC communities.

Civil and Human Rights Online

The Civil and Human Rights Online initiative funds organizations that are building power to defend the rights of all people to connect, create, and communicate. These organizations are fighting to address how tech companies amplify racism and enable discrimination online and across the country.

See how we're holding tech companies accountable

Equitable Civic Infrastructure

The Equitable Civic Infrastructure initiative funds organizations that build public pressure to change media and telecommunication policy at the state and federal levels. This work will rein in the power of big media and technology companies and create equitable access to information for people across the country.

Explore our approach to policy reform

Staff Working on Digital Democracy

Paul Waters

Director, Digital Democracy

Haneen Abu Al Neel

Program Associate, Digital Democracy

Erin Shields

Senior Program Associate, Digital Democracy

Democracy Fund Editorial Firewall Policy

We adhere to a strict policy preserving the editorial independence of all our journalism grantees. In the instance of a grantee approaching a member of our staff for comment, we require them to go through our communications team — not a program officer — and we alert the reporter of the funding relationship. We also request that if they quote a member of our team they disclose our funding of their organization in any story produced.

In addition, the Democracy Fund communications staff does not send pitches to the nonprofit newsrooms we support, and we include language in our grant agreements that we won’t discuss editorial content with journalism grantees or otherwise seek to influence their coverage. However, we may alert newsroom leadership of Democracy Fund developments and news in the course of regular engagement with grantees.

Explore Our Other Public Square Porfolios

Public Square strategies seek to ensure every community in the United States has access to accurate information that encourages healthy, informed, and engaged lives.

Equitable Journalism

In addition to the financial hardships local news has faced over the last few decades, many journalism organizations have continued to harm communities of color through racist coverage and biased reporting.

Learn more about this effort
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