We believe technology should advance justice, not amplify racial and economic inequities.
We drive policy change through rigorous research, legal and policy advocacy, and other timely interventions.
We work across disciplines, bringing computer science, quantitative, and legal and policy expertise to bear on the most pressing civil rights challenges.
We seek out partnerships with local and national advocates, litigators, academics, and others to ensure our work is responsive, informed, and impactful.
Our work focuses on two primary issue 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.
Passionate advocate, dependable ally. Figuring out how to actualize utopia.
Optimist. List-maker. Motivated by happy hours and hard deadlines.
Senior Quantitative Analyst
Active listener. Loves efficiency. Always has a song stuck in his head.
Led by curiosity. Equal parts goofy and intense. Amateur climber and critic.
Senior Policy Analyst
Interested in redistributing power around the design and use of technology to the people most impacted by it. Aspiring pleasure activist.
Flexible and pragmatic. A diplomatic debater. Great at explaining complex board games.
Technologist. Highly excitable, but disturbingly calm under pressure. His default answer is always “yes.”
Upturn is generously supported by the following philanthropic organizations.
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.