People’s Algorithmic Power Project National Organizer

Media Mobilizing Project (MMP) is a vibrant community institution winning power in Philadelphia, organizing around technology as it intersects with race and inequality, and impacting the fight for justice across the country and around the world. We are a hub for supporting and developing organizing strategies with poor and working people that build local power for the multi-racial working class in Philadelphia, and we connect and share those lessons in Philly and local-to-locally with other communities across the United States. 

Our work is rooted in a belief that storytelling is an organizing practice, and we’ve produced feature films and community media with Black, Brown, immigrant, and poor communities for 15 years. Over that time we’ve built a network of vibrant community organizations struggling for basic human rights in our city.  We’ve also learned first hand that digital technologies can be part of how communities can win justice, or used to limit our human rights and freedom.

Because of our organizing, we’ve forced Comcast to expand internet access to thousands of low income communities in Philly and around the country, we’ve helped build coalitions that ended state governance of our local school district, and we’ve helped pioneer campaigns that reduced mass incarceration and pressured our progressive District Attorney to transform prosecution in our city.  

At the root of all our organizing is a clear understanding that technology can connect our people to win power, or surveil, oppress, and alienate our communities as we struggle to survive in this stage in history. 

With the People’s Algorithmic Power Project we are building on these past efforts, and are in search for an organizer to work nationally on advancing this work.

People’s Algorithmic Power Project (P3A):

Over the last generation, governments and corporations have put computer algorithms into their decision-making systems.  Meant to be “evidence-based”, they are trained on datasets that embed racism into their predictions, and have the potential to lead to the over-policing and over-incarceration of Black and Brown people, as well as marked bias in child welfare decisions, employment, health, and housing. 

There has been rigorous reporting, academic research, and policymaking growing against unchecked automated decision-making and our human rights. Over the last three years, MMP has helped to launch community organizing around algorithms in pretrial decision-making; organizing that has kept Philadelphia from putting a new algorithm into bail hearings and pretrial decisions, all while the City of Philadelphia decarcerated our jails by 40% without the use of a new risk assessment algorithm.  

We also led a process to put out major principles of concern about algorithms in bail and pretrial with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and over 100 organizations, and organized hundreds of people to block implementation of a racist algorithm in state sentencing decisions in Pennsylvania. 

Now we’re ready to expand this organizing nationwide into other high stakes human decision-making systems. Algorithms are dividing Black mothers from their children, redlining Black and Brown communities by denying mortgages, and embedding bias into healthcare, work, and education. MMP will spend the next three years creating a network of community organizations and leaders, data scientists and legal strategists who can advance the cause of establishing community control over the deployment and governance of automated decision-making systems at the local level across the US.

Through this newly expanded People’s Algorithmic Power Project (P3A) we will identify key campaigns that can serve as laboratories across issues of the criminal legal system, housing, work, child welfare, and immigration. We’ll then support organizations to launch campaigns to engage with and transform how algorithmic decision-making works in their community. This work will happen in partnership with communities, legal scholars and data scientists, and we will document our efforts into toolkits, articles, webinars, and workshops for both data scientists and for communities working to understand automated decision-making in high-stakes contexts for people in this country and world.

Responsibilities:

Media Mobilizing Project is looking for a project coordinator to work with our team of policy organizers and researchers to help lead P3A.  As the coordinator of this project, you’d work closely with our team to help:

  • Identify and convene core community organizers working at the intersection of automated decision-making and human rights, 
  • Connect 30-50 core data scientists to dozens of community organizations to share best practices and strategize on their algorithmic decision-making accountability projects
  • Develop campaigns that can articulate a clear theory of change around how people can gain power over those systems through policymaking processes and rigorous community engagement,
  • Provide coaching, direct strategic support, and collaborative planning to launch campaigns with communities to stop or reduce the harm of algorithms how algorithmic decision-making works in their community. 

We are interested in adapting this position for the right person, as MMP grows and looks to build a committed team focusing on these urgent intersectional issues, and we are open to modifying this description for the right person. 

Qualifications:

Commitment to MMP’s mission and vision.

Experience organizing individuals to fight for social justice and win concrete gains, and/or demonstrated ability to develop the leadership of poor and working people on a long-term basis.

Experience or strong interest in the intersection of technology and racial and economic justice.

Motivation, discipline, flexibility, discretion, attention to detail, willingness to learn and a sense of humor under pressure.

Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Ability to build strong professional relationships with everyday Philadelphians, elected officials, organizational leaders, organizational members, board and staff.

Ability to problem-solve.  Are you able to balance multiple urgent projects and manage your time?  Do you have experience finding creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems?  Can you help people with conflict inside coalitions move through towards unity? We’d love to hear about that in your application. 

Ability to juggle multiple projects and priorities and to work both independently and collaboratively.

A strong team player with the ability to take and give direction.

Ability to attend some night and weekend meetings and events, and regular access to a car and a valid drivers’ license, and willingness to use these tools, strongly preferred. 

Willingness to regularly travel to cities and communities across the United States, on average of once every 4-6 weeks.

Desire to work in an environment that is diverse, fast-paced and community-driven.

Experience in managing volunteers and interns.

Salary and benefits:

The P3A Organizer salary is $55,000 – $65,000 per year based on experience.  Benefits include health care (MMP pays 90%) and extremely generous vacation policy, as well as ample scheduling flexibility.

MMP is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture, because we believe that communities impacted by structural racism and capitalism are best positioned to make powerful interventions to transform our society. 

MMP encourages applications from all individuals who think they might be qualified without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, caretaking status of children or elders, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

If we contact you and want more information, our process will be for us to interview you and for us to contact your references, and we will also ask you to complete exercises demonstrating your capacity for executing this position.  Thank you for your interest!

To apply: Please fill out the form below 

Job Application