Upturn advances equity and justice in the design, governance, and use of digital technology. Our research and advocacy combine technical fluency and creative policy thinking to confront patterns of inequity, especially those rooted in race and poverty.
We work in partnership with many of the nation’s leading civil rights and public interest organizations. We focus on two primary areas:
Safety & Justice
Technology should not exacerbate or entrench mass incarceration and racial inequity in our criminal legal system. We examine how law enforcement uses surveillance technologies, such as body-worn cameras and face recognition, as well as forensic software to search digital devices. We also seek to uncover the details behind predictive tools used by the police and in the courtroom, which can contribute to unfair decisions about people.
Technology should help expand opportunities for vulnerable individuals and communities and support longstanding civil rights protections. We shed light on online ad discrimination in housing, employment, and credit. We scrutinize the biases in hiring algorithms that mediate access to work. We show how new sources of data can expand access to credit. And we navigate technical challenges related to public benefits, fostering a strong social safety net.
Upturn is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC.
Technologist. Highly excitable, but disturbingly calm under pressure. His default answer is always “yes.”
Flexible and pragmatic. A diplomatic debater. Great at explaining complex board games.
Senior Policy Analyst
An energetic taskmaster who can manage a diverse docket. Curious by default. Lover of coffee and vinyl.
Optimist. List-maker. Motivated by happy hours and hard deadlines.
Upturn is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and Luminate.
Upturn received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt determination in September 2017.
If you’re interested in supporting Upturn’s work, please get in touch.