The Internet Freedom Festival Diversity and Inclusion Program

We believe that the inclusion of new and missing voices is
the foundation of a strong and open Internet.

The Internet Freedom Festival’s Diversity & Inclusion Program is a collaborative initiative designed to give voice to underrepresented groups and give them more presence within the larger Internet Freedom community, providing them with the means to attend the Internet Freedom Festival.

Goals of the Diversity and Inclusion Program

The fund is designed to tackle those issues that make participation in the Internet Freedom Community difficult for underrepresented groups. It allows these groups to not only take part in important conversations at IFF but, most importantly, design programs and agendas that provide space for these groups to collectively address the inequality and regional issues that have gone unaddressed by the community. The fund will be used according to recommendations given to us by these communities, providing:

1) Travel assistance for session hosts from underrepresented groups

Covering the cost of travel was identified as one of the biggest challenges. Participants in the “Global South Meetup” conversation series noted that a high percentage of speakers from these regions were not able to be present in most of the conversations because of their limited resources.

During past editions, we provided travel assistance to groups from: Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, MENA, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

2) Hiring inclusivity professionals

True inclusivity is a hard problem that requires professional resources. The Diversity & Inclusion Fund provides resources to hire professionals to implement best practices related to inclusivity and providing moral support in a diverse environment. Specifically, they will:

  • Help refine our Code of Conduct;
  • Provide mentorship to Fellows on how to keep their theme inclusive;
  • Research and share tools for the community to avoid common pitfalls;
  • Create a safe space for conflict resolution.

Impact

  • New Connections: Exploring new opportunities to better engage underrepresented groups, and identify possible synergies.
  • Increase Diversity: Identifying and cultivating new voices and fresh perspectives and strategies on maximizing their inclusion in various events taking place at the IFF.
  • Network Discovery: Improving the understanding of how the various communities are connected, their needs and shared goals. Illuminating current and potential relationships along with identifying lines of commonality across cultures and regions.
  • Awareness Raising: Raising awareness about the challenges faced by various groups, cultures and movements as they become more involved in the Internet Freedom space.
  • Impactful Development: Improvement of region-specific services, strategies, and circumvention technology tools.
  • Regional Challenges: Better understanding, strategizing and documenting of regional challenges that can be shared with the Internet Freedom Community.
  • Capacity Building: Empower people to improve region-specific capacity building.
  • Funding Opportunities: Discovery of new projects requiring funding for impactful initiatives in their regions.

Moses Karanja

Research Fellow at Toronto University and 2016 IFF Diversity Track Leader

“The Internet Freedom Festival is doing a great job in one, bringing together Internet freedom warriors from the South to meet, share experiences and forge working alliances and two, work closely with the global North to scale solutions that make the Internet more open and secure for all. Most of the linkages made in Valencia have grown to stronger projects and partnerships. This regional diversity is key in enriching our understanding of what works for Internet freedom – one byte at a time – and importantly, to create trust in this sensitive community.”

All the Diversity & Inclusion Fund contributors are featured on the website and materials,  and will be celebrated during the all-participant opening ceremony!

+$5,000


Provides travel grants (airfare, lodging, nominal per diem) to at least two individuals to participate in the IFF in Valencia, Spain; covers a portion of the costs to engage inclusivity professionals in the design of the festival.

+$10,000


Provides travel grants (airfare, lodging, nominal per diem) to at least four individuals to participate in the IFF in Valencia, Spain; covers a portion of the costs to engage inclusivity professionals in the design of the festival.

+$20,000


Provides travel grants (airfare, lodging, nominal per diem) to at least eight individuals to participate in the IFF in Valencia, Spain; covers a portion of the costs to engage inclusivity professionals in the design of the festival.

+$30,000


Provides travel grants (airfare, lodging, nominal per diem) to at least twelve individuals to participate in the IFF in Valencia, Spain; covers a portion of the costs to engage inclusivity professionals in the design of the festival.

Past Diversity & Inclusion Fund Donors

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