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Standing Up to the Algorithm: Rebuilding our Communities with Andre Banks

Our digital universe was intended to close divides between time and space, to allow us to communicate more clearly and more often. But there is a situation in this digital universe that actually limits our ability to connect. External forces make us question what is true and false. We are at the mercy of algorithms created to shape our opinions and actions online. 

Our guest this week has done extensive work on these issues and is here to help us understand the landscape, and the implications of our actions. Andre Banks is the founder and CEO of A/B Partners. Andre works at the top of his field on political communications and digital organizing and serves as the current chair of the board at Color Of Change. 

This season, we continue to dig in to all the ways that we come together as a society. But we can’t speak authentically about people in connection to one another without talking about the role that social media plays in how we come to understand one another, and how we push each other apart in the process. Our conversation today takes on the role that mis- and dis-information plays in activism online and in the media, and how it is weaponized to further disenfranchise marginalized communities. 

For many, we are inseparable from our digital connections. What role do those connections play in our physical and mental well-being? And how do we build a space for authentic, constructive dialog in the face of external forces? We are grateful for Andre this week, for sharing such extensive experience and giving us all a foundation for our own work as we reclaim and grow our digital universe.

Links & Notes

  • (00:00) – Welcome to Mission Forward
  • (02:54) – Welcome Andre Banks
  • (07:12) – Let’s talk about the campaign
  • (15:02) – How has COVID changed the way we form communities?
  • (22:56) – What do we need to stay connected in the future?
  • (26:20) – What do Black people want in information?
This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they’re all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.
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