Tech Justice Action Fund

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Tech Justice Action Fund
Amount: $4,080,000 in 2021

What is the Tech Justice Action Fund?

Created in 2021, the Tech Justice Action Fund envisions an open, secure, and equitable internet space where free expression, economic opportunity, knowledge exchange, and civic engagement can thrive. The Tech Justice Action fund is a fiscally sponsored project of North Fund.

Why do we think this project is important?

With racial justice at its foundation, this joint fund mobilizes philanthropic resources to support a multiracial coalition addressing the well-documented ways Big Tech and social media platforms have harmed BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Tech Justice Action Fund?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant to $4,080,000 to the Tech Justice Action Fund.

Platform Strategic Litigation Support

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Muslim Advocates
Amount: $300,000 in 2021

What is Muslim Advocates?

Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. It fights for American Muslims’ guaranteed rights through a multi-pronged set of strategies to effect social change: high-impact litigation, advocacy with federal officials, engaging and mobilizing communities and allies, and mounting public advocacy campaigns.

Why do we think this project is important?

This grant supported work that Muslim Advocates led to hold major social media platfroms accountable for their policies and practices regarding hate speech. We hope that this work will strategically force the industry to make meaningful changes to its policies and operations so that targeted communities are not endangered because of the rampant bigotry currently thriving on the platforms.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Muslim Advocates?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $300,000 to Muslim Advocates.

Disinfo Defense League

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Media Democracy Action Fund
Amount: $100,000 in 2021

What is the Media Democracy Action Fund?

Media Democracy Action Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, is a catalyst for an open, secure, and equitable internet. It brings together diverse voices to design inclusive and responsible solutions that empower public interest advocates to create an environment where digital technologies and the internet have a long-term, positive impact on society.

Why do we think this project is important?

This grant supported the Disinfo Defense League, a distributed national network for Black and Brown community-based organizations that are disrupting disinformation campaigns deliberately targeting Black, Latinx, Asian American/Pacific Islander and other communities of color. It works across geography, generation, and gender to equip leaders, advocates and organizations with the tools, training and tactics needed to combat racialized disinformation and win.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting the Media Democracy Action Fund?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to the Media Democracy Action Fund.

Anti-Discrimination NDAs

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Media Democracy Action Fund
Amount:  $170,000 in 2021

What is Media Democracy Action Fund?

Media Democracy Action Fund is a catalyst for an open, secure, and equitable internet. It brings together diverse voices to design inclusive and responsible solutions that empower public interest advocates to create an environment where digital technologies and the internet have a long-term, positive impact on society. It is a fiscally sponsored project of Sixteen Thirty Fund.

Why do we think this project is important? 

This grant supported Media Democracy Action Fund’s efforts to advocate against the discriminatory use of non-disclosure agreements by digital media platforms in the United States.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Media Democracy Action Fund? 

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $170,000 to the Media Democracy Action Fund.

Trusting News

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Trusting News
Amount: $100,000 in 2021

What is Trusting News?

Trusting News trains and empowers journalists to actively earn trust and demonstrate their credibility. Joy Mayer founded Trusting News after working almost twenty years as a journalist. She continues to work as a consultant, trainer, and professor and runs Mayer Media Strategy LLC, which provides financial support to the Trusting News Project.

In a continual cycle of research, learning and sharing with the industry, Trusting News explores how to incorporate trust-building into journalism’s standards and practices.

Why do we think this project is important?

This grant supported Trusting News’ work to understand the causes of mistrust in news, develop strategies to build trust, and empower journalists to take responsibility for actively demonstrating credibility and earning trust. Their aspiration is that any newsroom that stands behind its mission and ethics should have access to support as they optimize for trust. This project focused on building capacity to reach more journalists with training, and partnering with researchers to collect evidence of success.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Trusting News?

In 2021, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to Mayer Media Strategy LLC in support of the Trusting News Project.

 

TrollBusters

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: Media Innovation Collaboratory, Inc.
Amount: Updated to $215,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $110,000 in 2020

What is TrollBusters?

TrollBusters is a just-in-time rescue service for women writers and journalists experiencing online harassment. A fiscally-sponsored project of Media Innovation Collaboratory, TrollBusters provides online pest control for journalists by providing awareness, training, consulting and other supports to individual journalists and media organizations to mitigate the impact of online harassment and threats.

Why do we think this project is important?

TrollBusters provides online monitoring of dangerous actors who may pose a threat to journalists’ livelihoods and lives. They provide trainings for newsrooms, act proactively and reactively in response to instances of online harassment, and support individual journalists through one-on-one services and free resources on digital health and wellness. A portion of this grant was used for legal support in finalizing their fiscal sponsor relationship and related infrastructure.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Trollbusters?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $110,000 to TrollBusters. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $105,000 for a total of $215,000.

Media Policy Reform

Type of Activity: Project
Grantee: National Newspaper Publishers Association
Amount: $50,000 in 2020

What is the National Newspaper Publishers Association?

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. NNPA is committed to providing its members with valuable information, opportunities, and services. They believe that communication among publishers is a key tool to improving the industry.

Why do we think this project is important?  

This grant supported the Local Journalism in America Advocacy Program, which advocated for increased government funding for local journalism in the United States. A key objective of this project in 2021 was to enhance government funding and support of the democratization of local journalism by ensuring greater diversity and inclusion in professional journalism across the nation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for African American and other minority-owned newspapers and media companies. The Local Journalism In America Advocacy Program identified and advocated for financial support for the best practices that achieve journalistic success, innovation, and sustainability.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting National Newspaper Publishers Association?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $50,000 to the National Newspaper Publishers Association in support of the Local Journalism in America Advocacy Program project.

Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association
Amount: Updated to $300,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $100,000 in 2020

What is the Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association?

Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) is a group of media stakeholders, influencers of color, and their allies, who share a mission of eliminating barriers to media diversity. This includes a goal of increasing diverse ownership and control of the reporting, creation, production, and distribution of news and stories on all platforms.

Why do we think this organization is important?

A strong democracy requires a diverse media landscape that reflects the voices of the communities they represent. Diverse participation in, and ownership of, media organizations ensures that important stories are not missed. Providing greater representation not only allows more audiences to see alternative viewpoints, but also allows groups and communities to see their lives and interests reflected in our national conversation.

Now in its fourth year of existence, MMCA continues to strengthen its position as an advocate and change-agent for media diversity. The focus of their efforts include community and coalition building, advocacy and awareness, industry accountability, and stakeholder assistance and collaboration.

Digital channels eliminate some of the barriers to diversity that existed on traditional platforms; however, MMCA’s research and engagement have revealed that decision maker bias and the barriers to discovery by audiences have not been removed. Consolidation, tech transformation, changes in consumer behavior, and rushed policy changes are combining to make the landscape even more difficult. MMCA’s primary goal is to help media stakeholders of color successfully navigate and thrive in this rapidly-changing new media economy and to address the barriers that still remain.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $100,000 to Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $200,000 for a total of $300,000.

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Amount: Updated to $500,000 in 2021 — originally approved as $175,000 in 2020 over two years.

What is the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights?

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights was founded in 1950 by a coalition of civil rights activists. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Leadership Conference advocated for the passage of civil rights legislation in Congress. Their efforts resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Today, the Leadership Conference is a coalition of over 200 member organizations and continues to coordinate advocacy and lobbying efforts in support of legislation that protects and expands civil and human rights.

Why do we think this organization is important?

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ work to organize civil rights organizations through their Civil Rights, Privacy, and Technology Table and Media/Telecommunications Task Force directly supports the types of coordination needed to improve human rights data policy grounded in racial justice and gender equity. Their extensive history and expertise in this area makes them uniquely positioned to coordinate civil rights advocacy at multiple levels.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a two year grant of $175,000 to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. In 2021 an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $325,000 for a total of $500,000.

Free Press Action Fund

Type of Activity: General Operating Support
Grantee: Free Press Action Fund
Amount: Updated to $600,000 in 2021 – originally approved as $200,000 in 2020

What is Free Press Action Fund?

Free Press Action is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that seeks to change the media to transform democracy to realize a just society. They believe that social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities. They work to safeguard a free and open internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.

Why do we think this organization is important?

Free Press Action is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) advocacy organization that seeks to change the media to transform democracy to realize a just society. They believe that social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what’s actually happening in their communities. They work to safeguard a free and open internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.

How is Democracy Fund Voice supporting Free Press Action Fund?

In 2020, Democracy Fund Voice approved a grant of $200,000 to Free Press Action Fund. In 2021, an amendment was approved to increase the amount of the grant by $400,000, for a total of $600,000.