Call for Abstracts: Race, Ethnicity, Technology & Elections- Defining Problems, Developing Solutions

Justin Hendrix / May 24, 2022

In May 2022, Tech Policy Press solicited a series of essays on the subject of race, ethnicity, technology & elections.

Below is the original solicitation:

Even as the 2022 U.S. midterm elections and 2024 presidential campaign cycle draw near, America’s long history of voter suppression targeting Black and Latino communities seems set to add another grim chapter. New state laws put in place following the 2020 cycle - many premised on false claims of a stolen election and massive voter fraud embraced by the former President and his loyalists - seem set to disadvantage Black voters, in particular. Courts continue to dismantle gains made since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and efforts to introduce legislative reforms to protect the franchise at the federal level have failed.

These very real challenges to democratic participation are compounded by an information environment which continues to reinforce the oppression of Black and Brown people, as disinformation, bigotry, and discrimination continues to thrive on online platforms. Despite some gains, such as an audit at Facebook that led to the creation of a team focused on civil rights issues, there remains a great deal to do to ensure the major tech platforms are a part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

What's more, this is a global problem, and one that expresses itself in unique ways in other countries, even where there are parallels to the U.S. What is to be learned by looking abroad?

Tech Policy Press seeks to commission a series of essays at the intersection of race, ethnicity, technology and elections to be published in the fall of 2022. Essays are invited on any issue that suits this broad theme; for instance, topics may address:

  • Evidence that details the scope of the problem with respect to technology platforms and racial voter suppression and disinformation and potential solutions;
  • Recommended changes to platform policies, design and systems to promote democratic participation and combat oppression;
  • New conceptual frameworks, research agendas and data access that address racial voter suppression and harassment on platforms.

Essays are invited from writers across any discipline, from communications, political science, media studies, information science, or computer science, to history and beyond. We are particularly interested in commissioning essays that synthesize ideas across disciplines to arrive at novel problem definitions or proposed solutions.

A review committee will evaluate abstracts. A total of ten essays will be commissioned. Each commissioned essay will receive an honorarium of $1,000, and will be required to produce a draft of 2,000 - 4,000 words. Submissions will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, July 1st, 2022 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

Reviewers include:

  • Jeff Allen, Ph.D., Integrity Institute
  • Nora Benavidez, J.D., Free Press
  • Daniel Kreiss, Ph.D., Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life at UNC Chapel Hill
  • Theodore Johnson, LP.D, Brennan Center for Justice
  • Erin Shields, Democracy Fund
  • Alisa Valentin, Ph.D., National Urban League

This program is generously supported by the Jones Family Foundation.

In order to submit an abstract, please complete the form available here.


Justin Hendrix
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & ...