In 2015, when the nation’s leading digital advocacy groups came together to address field-wide issues that were limiting our work, one issue quickly rose to the top of our list: the dismal lack of racial and gender equity across the tech industry, including among digital campaigning groups.
We saw staffing approaches that focused on increasing diversity, but did nothing to address implicit bias and other organizational barriers that stand in the way of the growth and advancement of people of color, queer and trans people, and women in the digital space. The Kairos Fellowship emerged from our shared drive to not only build a pipeline of trained, talented digital campaigners of color, but to help organizations tear down barriers to real equity.
The fellowship is a highly competitive, paid fellowship by and for people of color. Kairos fellows receive robust on-the-job training with leading civic tech and online campaigning organizations and mentorship from senior digital campaigners of color. Fellows also build strong relationships that form the type of network we need in order to advance the leadership of people of color in civic technology.
Fellows are at the center of the rich conversation about racial justice and gender that is happening in the United States and across the world. Kairos fellows are deeply committed to racial and gender justice and using digital platforms to fight and win campaigns. Key to the fellowship are our partnerships with cutting-edge progressive digital campaigning organizations.
We’re committed to helping all digital organizations within the progressive space achieve greater equity. Kairos provides coaching, mentorship, and network support to groups interested in cultivating racial justice from within. When institutions, programs, and staff work together, it can be transformative. Kairos is committed to sharing best practices with the broader digital field.
There is no one way to achieve equity. Our approach is to experiment with different ways to address this complex problem. We do this through partnerships, curating opportunities for experimentation, and sharing what we’re learning with the field of tech-fueled social change.
We honor the work of those who have come before us, those who have paved the way for our current understanding of equity, those who have broken down walls and fought courageously in the face of hate and violence, and those who are our contemporaries in the fight for racial and gender justice.