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AImpower.org research and co-create empowering technologies for and with marginalized communities to dismantle barriers, create benefits, and seek social justice.
About This Cause
We believe that technology can be a powerful tool that empowers previously oppressed communities and facilitates systemic changes, when the communities are directly involved to drive the development and deployment of technology. As an independent tech non-profit, we are a think and do tank uniquely positioned and committed to form a responsible, long-term relationship with different marginalized communities throughout the lifecycle of the engagement. Building on our technical and UX research expertise, industry/academia connections, as well as lived experiences as members of minority and marginalized communities. We work at the intersection of technology, social justice, and activism. The scope of our work spans across research, build, and advise: 1. Research We study and uncover structural barriers and systematic challenges for a marginalized community in different technical or non-technical contexts. We also research and evaluate existing technological experiences, especially ML/AI-powered technologies, for biases and gaps for a marginalized user group, as well as the impact of such biases and gaps online and offline. 2. Build We redesign and rebuild existing technologies to make them more inclusive and enjoyable for different groups of marginalized users. We also do-design and develop new technologies centered on the needs and empowerment of structurally marginalized communities. 3. Advise We advise and support marginalized communities to collectively resist technological suppression and extend agency of their technological experiences. We reserve time and resources to serve other governmental and community organizations as expert witness, technical consultant, and technical mentors. ------- The majority of our work will be structured as different projects, with each project centering around one marginalized group, and spanning over at least two years to give us the time and space to meaningfully engage with a community and stakeholders in the problem space. Recognizing the heterogeneity within every marginalized community, we will emphasize and highlight intersectionality when working with a community, and prioritize the involvement and needs of those on the margin of the margins. Our first project centers on the stuttering community and their experiences and challenges with telecommunication technologies. Our community research have identified systematic barriers to people who stutter brought by the design of video conferencing technologies. We will ideate and codesign solutions with the stuttering community to address these challenges, while advocating for public awareness of verbal diversity to create a more inclusive communication environment for all.