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Race & Technology Initiative

OVERVIEW

Rapidly developing technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, algorithmic decision-making, and social media platforms can be an unprecedented force for good, but can also codify and amplify existing forms of inequality, discrimination, and bias. Industry and academic researchers, as well as users, have called for greater fairness, accountability and transparency in development and use of these powerful tools. Indeed, Stanford’s own Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) was launched on the premise that “the development of AI must be coupled with the ongoing study of its social and ethical implications and guided accordingly.” Recognizing our overlapping interests, CCSRE is organizing a panel on "Race, Rights, and Facial Recognition," as part of AI's upcoming conference on Ethics, Governance, Policy, being held on October 28th and 29th, 2019. 

Race and ethnicity are critical factors impacting and impacted by new and emerging technologies. For instance, recent studies have illustrated that racial bias can be reproduced by machine learning and algorithmic decision-making impacting criminal sentencing, hiring, consumer markets, and others domains. Ensuring that new technologies do not exacerbate racial inequity requires interdisciplinary research linking experts in technical fields with area experts in fields such as education, health, housing, and criminal justice. Similarly, designing and assessing the regulatory frameworks to ensure algorithmic accountability and protect civil rights will require technical, legal, and other area expertise to understand how these frameworks operate in racialized contexts. The Race and Technology Initiative promises to catalyze a community of scholars and practitioners at Stanford University that will advance racial equity by sharing knowledge to lead the production, analysis, and development of new and emerging technologies. Together we can revise our very understanding of how technology might combat racial problems as well as generate new technologies and accountability mechanisms to advance racial equity.

NON-RESIDENT PRACTITIONER FELLOWSHIP

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 30th, 2019

In partnership with the Digital Civil Society Lab (DCSL) and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, the Non-Resident Practitioner Fellowship supports social sector leaders to dedicate some of their time working on ideas that advance justice at the intersections of race and technology.  It allows working people to dedicate a portion of their time to advancing an idea or project that doesn’t quite fit into their “day job.” The goal is to provide enough time, space, expertise, and financial support to help turn ideas into prototypes or action, and to build a cohort of fellows to support ongoing learning and community.

These fellows will join a larger cohort of DCSL Fellows for orientation week in January 2020 and will work closely together as part of the same cohort throughout the year long fellowship term. As part of their project, these fellows will have the opportunity to work with undergraduate students to assist on the project in conjunction with a Spring quarter course on Digital Civil Society taught by DCSL Director, Lucy Bernholz. Fellows could also have the opportunity to work with summer interns to support their project full-time for 8-10 weeks. Finally, fellows could also assist in designing a Race and Technology Action Summit, bringing together practitioners and scholars to address pressing racial equity challenges related to technology.

All fellows will receive:

  • A $20,000 stipend, paid at the beginning of the fellowship, to support work on a year-long project.
  • A weeklong in-person convening of the cohort on the Stanford campus, January 20-24, 2020. 
  • Travel support to cover the cost of attending the January 2020 weeklong convening.
  • Project support up to $5,000 to support additional project-related travel and expenses as appropriate.
  • Mentorship from fellowship directors and access to fellowship alumni from previous cohorts.

Guidelines

Each fellow will pursue a project or set of activities of their own design over the course of the fellowship. Applicants pursuing projects that are already in progress, as well as projects that may not be fully completed within one year, are eligible to apply.

Fellows are expected to engage as a cohort with the other Non-Resident Fellows as well as with Stanford postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and student researchers.

While we welcome applications from outside the United States, we are currently unable to support the acquisition of visas. If you are applying from outside the United States and are accepted, you will need to secure your own visa.

Fellowship projects should be designed to:

  • address a challenge of safe, ethical, and effective digital data governance or practice that is common to nonprofits and civic associations globally with an explicit focus on racial equity
  • produce a prototype, draft or complete product in one year
  • benefit from access to scholarship and researchers
  • have a plausible plan for post-fellowship implementation and support
  • be shareable and open for discussion, adaptation, promotion and reuse during and after the fellowship period

Selection Criteria

The selection process will take into consideration the following criteria:

  • Potential impact
    • Does the project address a question or challenge that is broadly relevant across civil society?
    • Will the project contribute significant new knowledge or create substantial positive change?
    • Does the Fellow demonstrate a deep understanding of the issue their project addresses?
    • Will the Fellow and the project benefit from engagement with an academic research community?
  • Quality of project proposal
    • Is the project plan thoughtful and well-articulated?
    • Have potential risks and challenges received adequate consideration?
    • Are goals, timelines, and deliverables realistic?
    • Has the applicant identified potential partnerships that will catalyze the project?

Timeline: 2020 cohort

  • August 26, 2019: Application period opens
  • September 30, 2019: Application period closes
  • October 2019: Judging process and interviews of short-listed candidates
  • November 2019: Fellowship recipients announced
  • January 2020: Cohort begins with weeklong convening at Stanford University from January 20-24

How to Apply

Interested applicants should complete the online application during the application window. 

During the application process you will be asked to submit:

  • cover letter
  • resume or CV
  • brief project proposal
  • contact information for two professional references

The Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity at Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and we value diverse perspectives and experiences. We are committed to ensuring that our center is fully inclusive and engages with the intersectionality of the social issues we address and communities we serve. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law. People of color and gender-diverse people are strongly encouraged to apply.

Inquiries may be directed to Daniel Murray, Executive Director of CCSRE: ddmurray@stanford.edu