Years ago, when we were first building Subtext, one of the most important things we wanted to achieve was the ability for audiences to create a deeper, more meaningful connection and open line of communication with the people and topics that made a difference in their lives.
We knew the pitfalls of traditional social media platforms – toxicity, misinformation, algorithmic gerrymandering, and predatory data practices - and we knew we needed to provide an alternative. Social platforms had usurped the relationships and conversations that mattered most in our lives while excluding millions of people from the conversation. Those that could participate did so at their own risk.
What we didn’t know at the time was the adversity the world would collectively face over the course of the next three years and how important re-establishing a connection to our communities would become.
When the pandemic left the entire country facing a bleak reality with more questions than answers, many media organizations stepped in to fill the informational void and answer questions that would have otherwise gone unanswered.
When protests and demands for social justice, equality and accountability were taking place, grassroots community organizations answered the call and became a harbinger for reform.
When economic hardships and unemployment rippled across the United States, civic organizations stepped up to assist those in need by connecting citizens to critical resources via text message.
We were proud to be the platform many of these organizations turned to establish a deeper connection with their communities but our commitment to access, information equity and an open exchange of ideas is just beginning.
In the tech industry we often take for granted how easy it is to access the information we need but in 2021 23% of U.S. households do not have broadband internet access (Pew). Of that 23% young people, senior citizens, minorities and the socioeconomically disadvantaged make up a disproportionate share (Pew).
We’ve always believed in the power of community connection. It’s why we built Subtext on SMS technology that 97% of the United States uses on a weekly basis. We also believe that no one should be excluded from accessing the information they need because of financial or technical constraints.
With that in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of Subtext’s new civic engagement efforts focused on empowering grassroots organizations to create enduring, impactful connections with their communities.
Words are nice but actions are better. This is why as a part of our commitment to civic engagement we’ll be launching the Subtext Justice Award to provide financial and technical support to organizations working to make an impact in their communities.
We want to hear from you about which organizations are doing the most good so we’re taking open nominations for the organizations you feel deserve to be recognized and supported in their efforts. We’re accepting nominations for non-profit organizations focused on community & ally outreach, constituent empowerment & decision-making, popular education, campaign development, constituency development & mobilization, coalition building, and direct action. You can learn more about the Subtext Justice Awards, and how to apply and submit a nomination here.
We hope you’ll join us in continuing to support information accessibility and engagement for every type of community.