PACS news/July 21, 2021

Digital Civil Society Lab Fellow’s Work Nominated for New York Emmy Award

Mutale Nkonde’s AI for the People project will compete in the Technology - Short Form Content Category

Digital Civil Society Lab Practitioner Fellow Mutale Nkonde has had a news piece she worked on nominated for a New York Emmy. The piece is part of her larger non-profit organization, for which she serves as founding CEO, AI for the People (AFP). AFP works as a communications agency to help eliminate the under-representation of black professionals in the American technology sector by 2030. They do this, Nkonde writes, in three ways: “Identifying, recruiting and developing technologists from traditionally under-represented groups; Commissioning research on how technical systems impact Black people; collaborating with journalists, television producers, film makers and artists to develop content designed to change tech neutrality narratives and empower communities to advocate for the development of anti-racist policies to govern the design and deployment of AI systems.”

This piece in particular, “Eyes On You: Nuns Are Keeping Facial Recognition Companies In Check,” falls under AFP’s third umbrella category. It tracks, Nkonde states, “how an order of nuns are using shareholder activism to stop companies from investing in facial recognition.” As always for Nkonde and AFP, the goal is to “increase public understanding of the impact algorithmic technologies have on Black life.” The recognition for this project, she says, “indicates that we have a model that is clearly understood by [the] journalistic outlets that shape how policy makers think.”

View the full piece here and read the press release here.