Massachusetts Institute of Technology SOLVE in the USA invites applications from entrepreneurs worldwide for the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge in 2021.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the US have created resilient, culturally rich, and generous communities despite centuries of institutionalized racism, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and oppression. The Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the disparities between BIPOC and white communities in the US, including in wealth, education, incarceration, and health. These disparities are primarily a result of the system working as initially intended, whether through current policies, biased enforcement of rules, or a lasting legacy of past programs such as redlining or the allotment of Native lands. Further, a new wave of technologies has added or perpetuated racial bias, expanded predatory surveillance systems, and driven hidden decision-making under the guise of neutral algorithms.
Solutions that help end enduring injustice will take many forms. In addition to policy changes and dedicated resources driven by intersectional advocacy, technology and innovation also have roles to play. Movements like afrofuturism, community-led efforts on digital literacy, indigenous data sovereignty, and the use of data science for positive change all speak to the potential of technology to support, inspire, and liberate BIPOC communities.
The MIT Solve community is searching for technology-based solutions by and for communities of color that help create antiracist and equitable futures in the US. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
- Provide tools and opportunities for equitable access to jobs, credit, and generational wealth creation in communities of color.
- Catalyze civic engagement and enable communities to plan and control their own housing and industrial land development and ownership patterns.
- Create new public safety systems that ensure racial equity and provide alternatives to harmful technologies such as biased facial recognition.
- Actively minimize human and algorithmic biases, particularly in healthcare, education, and workplace settings.
Worth of Award
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Virtual Solve Challenge Finals on September 19, 2021.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize is open to solutions that directly address the health and well-being of people in the US. The prize is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aims to raise the health of everyone in the United States by using a health equity lens to place well-being at the center of every aspect of life. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to four eligible teams from the Antiracist Tech Challenge, the Indigenous Communities Fellowship, and the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge.
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education will award a prize for digital solutions tailored to U.S.-based primary and secondary classrooms that provide career exploration or experimentation. Solutions that are embedded as part of core curriculum, utilize project based learning, ensure equitable access, and have an emphasis on teacher professional development are preferred. American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. Up to $250,000 will be granted to or invested in solutions from the Equitable Classrooms Challenge, the Digital Inclusion Challenge, the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge, and/or Indigenous Communities Fellowship.
The Elevate Prize for Antiracist Technology
The Elevate Prize for Antiracist Technology is open to nonprofit leaders who are helping to create an antiracist and equitable future in the US. This prize is funded by the Elevate Prize Foundation, which aims to elevate humanity on a global scale by funding, guiding, and scaling the platforms of social entrepreneurs. A minimum of $300,000 will be granted to 1 nonprofit Solver from the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge. This exemplar leader will take part in both the MIT Solver program and the Elevate Prize winners program and receive ongoing support from MIT Solve and the Elevate Prize Foundation.
Innovation for Women Prize: Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity is open to solutions that advance inclusion, digital literacy, and economic opportunity in communities across the US and globally. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US and Digital Inclusion Challenges.
- In the near term, they need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response.
- MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak, for example by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers.
- At the same time, they cannot solely treat disease outbreaks reactively. Climate change and globalization leave us ever more vulnerable to future epidemics and pandemics, and it’s critical to be prepared.
- Solve is also seeking solutions that focus on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
- Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
- Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
- Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
- Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
- Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge
- Partnership Potential: The applicant clearly explains how the solution would benefit from the broad range of resources that the Solve community is positioned to provide.
How to Apply
You can submit your solution through the application link on their website
Deadline: deadline to apply is June 16, 2021.