We believe technology policy has the potential to increase opportunity and limit harms, when done through a racial equity lens. This is why the Racial Equity in Technology Policy Accelerator is a joint initiative by the Federation of American Scientists’ Day One Project and the Kapor Center. Together we want to identify, develop, and publish a set of racial justice & technology policy ideas to be implemented by the legislative and executive branches.

The accelerator is a nine-week, part-time process designed to hone participants’ policy-writing skills. Selected participants will have a chance to develop their ideas with guidance from policy advisors, meet with veteran policymakers to learn more about the nuances of policy implementation, hone their ability to craft actionable policy on the federal level, and build a community with their fellow cohort.

Participants will receive an honorarium of $3,000 for their time and efforts.

About the Accelerator

A policy accelerator is a nine-week process that guides participants as they develop an initial idea into a tailored, actionable set of policy recommendations. The Racial Equity in Tech Policy Accelerator is seeking participants to develop ideas within four priority policy areas:

  1. Increase tech company data collection, reporting, transparency, and accountability.
  2. Increasing tech worker protections, including whistleblower protections, gig worker safety nets, and unions, to ensure equitable labor practices.
  3. Combating the harmful consequences of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and creating protections for the future development and deployment of AI systems.
  4. Ensuring tech platforms are held accountable for racially targeted harassment, violence, and voter suppression fueled by mis/disinformation.

What’s the outcome? Action-ready proposals that are usually about 2,000 – 4,000 words in length. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our library of proposals to get a better sense of the end-product.

Who should apply? No prior policy expertise is required. Each of our accelerators aim to build a cohort of “policy entrepreneurs”: those who simply have an idea to accelerate progress and are highly motivated to leverage the tools, skills, and networks we provide to drive this change. For this accelerator, ideal candidates will have deep expertise on (or exposure to) at least one of the four policy areas listed above, and generally understand how tech policy and racial equity issues intersect. For example:

  • A professional working in the tech, consulting, social impact, and/or creative fields; 
  • An undergraduate student, a graduate student, or academic/professional researcher who has focused on tech policy through an equity lens;
  • An activist or leading advocate for racial justice and equity in tech spaces;

Individuals with identities underrepresented in tech policy spaces are especially encouraged to apply. The accelerator is designed around working professionals, with a time commitment of about 4-6 hours/week.

FAQ

Can you share more about the kinds of ideas you’re looking for?

Please see the section titled “About the Accelerator” for specific prompts and issue areas that we are particularly interested in pursuing. We also recommend looking at our proposal library for a better sense of what we mean by “ambitious and actionable” policy ideas.

How many proposals are you accepting for the accelerator?

We are looking for approximately 10-12 participants (and proposals) for the accelerator. Some participants may be able to collaborate on the same policy memo, depending on the proposed idea.

What is the timeline for reviewing proposals and opening the accelerator?

Applications are now closed.

How does the accelerator process work, and what am I committing to if I am accepted?

Interested parties begin by completing our official submission form. Each submission requires prospective authors to submit information on who they are, as well as a summary of their idea to help our team understand and evaluate each submission. We recommend reviewing the form in advance and thinking through each answer to the questions before officially submitting your proposal. We also suggest reviewing existing papers on our website for examples of previous work.

If selected, participants will be expected to attend 4-6 hours of programming per week, with additional asynchronous time spent drafting their policy proposal. Accelerator participants will receive comprehensive support from the Day One team which includes:

  • Virtual whiteboarding sessions to workshop ideas and engage in policy design sessions.
  • Access to policy toolkits, workbooks, technical editing, and other resources to ensure a compelling final written product.
  • Exclusive Q&A and learning sessions with policy advisors and subject-matter experts in and outside of the federal government.
  • Idea exchanges and social events to build community with members of the accelerator cohort.

Following the completion of the accelerator, we aim to invite authors to pitch their proposal virtually to expert policymakers. We will work with authors to drive traction on their proposal with the goal of pushing for the implementation of recommendations outlined.