The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced grants totaling $3.4 million in support of efforts to promote an open Internet that is free and accessible to all.
Awarded through a Knight News Challenge in partnership with the Ford and Mozilla foundations, the grants will fund nineteen projects that address a range of issues, including privacy protections and censorship, the diversity of the tech workforce, and digital access. Nine winning projects will receive investments of $200,000 to $500,000 each, while ten early-stage proposals were awarded $35,000 each through the Knight Prototype Fund.
Winning projects include CODE2040, which was awarded $400,000 for a fellows program that will match African-American and Latino software developers with internships at tech companies and support them with a robust leadership development curriculum; the Chicago Public Library, which will receive $400,000 for a pilot project that addresses the digital divide by lending out wi-fi hotspot devices and providing digital skills coaching; and the New America Foundation, which was awarded $300,000 to benchmark and rank tech companies on how well they protect the free expression and privacy of users.
"The winning projects strengthen or defend the power of the Internet to inform communities and help innovation thrive; they help build a more inclusive, open Internet that represents diverse voices and ideas," said Michael Maness, the foundation's vice president of journalism and media innovation. "Including prototypes in this round of winners further reinforces the need to build a stronger Internet and quickly test new ideas in this evolving space."
For a list of winning projects, visit the Knight Foundation website.