Tech Thursday: 5 anti-racism apps you should know about

Racism continues to be a major issue around the world and for a long time campaigns against it have been limited to television, online platforms, billboards and other traditional mediums.

In the past few years new apps have been released with the intention of keeping people safe by acting as a neighbourhood watch tool. These tools have been found to reinforce racial stereotypes and discrimination.

Different organisations in Australia, the US, France, the UK and Canada have created anti-racism apps designed to act as educational interventions on mobile phones to counteract the existing models. These apps have targeted highly sensitive subjects such as race and class while also functioning as protective mechanisms.

Here are five anti-racism apps that have caught our attention:

1. Everyday Racism

Everyday Racism is a game/education app, which challenges players to live a week in the life of an Aboriginal man, a Muslim woman, an Indian student or just yourself. Created in Australia, the app offers a journey to better understand racism through walking in the shoes of somebody else for seven days. Over the course of a week users receive texts, tweets, images and videos that will challenge their assumptions. It also encourages understanding and the importance of speaking up when you witness racism.

2. Kick It Out

Kick It Out is a UK based app that tackles racism and discrimination through the power of football. The mobile phone app allows football supporters to report racist and other abuse instantly and attach photographs, video, audio or screen shots. It was launched by the game’s anti-discrimination campaign organisation, Kick It Out.

3. WeCopWatch

In America, there is a major issue with racial profiling from police officers and many young, innocent youths are caught in the crossfire. WeCopWatch is designed to watch the police, to educate and empower the public by informing people about Copwatch as a community defence tool. It also teaches people about their rights in the event of them being stopped by the police. WeCopWatch supports community justice, whether they be restorative or transformative, that do not involve the police or the criminal justice system. It also stands against white supremacy, racism, sexism, violence against women, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and any form of collectivised hatred or bigotry.

4. Stop and Frisk Watch

Stop and Frisk Watch is a free smart phone application that empowers New Yorkers to monitor police activity and hold the NYPD accountable for unlawful stop-and-frisk encounters and other police misconduct. The app comes in English and Spanish and allows bystanders to fully document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress.

5. All Together Now

A national charity All Together Now in Australia launched an app that teaches eight to 10 year olds about racism and discrimination. It is available for use in primary schools in Australia and leads users through various scenarios in which children could be excluded because of bias and stereotyping.

Caxton Central

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