In 2018, ADL’s Center for Technology and Society (CTS), with the support of the Robert Belfer Family, launched the Belfer Fellows program. CTS Belfer Fellows are scholars, thinkers and practitioners engaging in cutting edge research and practice exploring both the ways in which technology is being used to amplify hate as well as how technology can be used to make a more just world for all people. After a wide-ranging recruitment and selection process in early 2018, ADL selected its first class of Belfer Fellows:
Dr. Karen Schrier
Dr. Karen Schrier is an Associate Professor and the founding director of the Games & Emerging Media program at Marist College. Prior to Marist, she spent over a decade producing websites, apps, and games at organizations such as Scholastic, Nickelodeon, BrainPOP, and PBS/Channel 13. She is the editor of the book series, Learning, Education & Games, published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon), and co-editor of two books on games and ethics. Her latest book, "Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Help Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change," was published in 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press.
As a Belfer Fellow, Dr. Schrier is researching games, perspective-taking and empathy. By working with ADL’s Education department and applying their anti-bias pedagogy in a game design context, Dr. Schrier is exploring the question whether and how games can be used to support positive social change, connectedness, caring, and help reduce bias. During her year long fellowship, she worked with the Global Game Jam on a national event at sites across the U.S. which tested the efficacy of the game design framework on impacting game developers, and will be writing a white paper based on that research.
Work by Dr. Schrier for the Belfer Fellowship
- ADL Resource Guide: Identity Game Design Framework
- Op-Ed in Variety: “It Starts with a Flicker: How Games Can Bring Humanity Closer Together”
- ADL Blog: “How We Can Use Games to Understand Others Better”
- Upcoming: Report on Game Design, Game Jams, Empathy and Bias
Samuel Woolley is the research director of the Digital Intelligence (DigIntel) Lab at IFTF, a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, and an associate member of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. He specializes in the study of automation/AI, political communication, and information warfare. He is also a co-founder and former research director of the Computational Propaganda (ComProp) research team at the University of Oxford and the University of Washington. He and his collaborators have done foundational research on the topics of online disinformation and political manipulation, coining the terms ‘computational propaganda’ and ‘political bot.’
As a Belfer Fellow, Mr. Woolley is researching with both qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how political bots and algorithms have been leveraged to target the Jewish community in the context of U.S. elections. His initial study found nearly 30 percent of the accounts that repeatedly tweeted anti-Semitic terms were judged to likely be bots. These accounts made more anti-Semitic remarks on average than accounts that seemed to be from humans – 43 percent of the tweets even though they represented just 28 percent of the accounts.
Work by Samuel Woolley for the Belfer Fellowship
- ADL Report: Computational Propaganda, Jewish-Americans and the 2018 Midterms: The Amplification of Anti-Semitic Harassment Online
- NPR Interview: Anti-Defamation League Report Says Online Anti-Semitism Is A 'Daily Occurrence'
- ADL Blog: “It’s Time to Examine How Online Disinformation Affects Social Groups”
- Upcoming: Expanded report on Anti-Semitism, bots, disinformation and computational propaganda.
Rev. Dr. Patricia Novick
Reverend Patricia Novick has worked for more than thirty years as a consultant, trainer, training designer, and ordained minister and has focused on issues of social justice, diversity, health, and the environment. She is currently engaged with the Bronzeville/Pilsen Augmented Reality Project and is a founding trainer at the Multicultural Leadership Academy, a nine-month program that builds understanding and collaboration among Latino and African American leaders in Chicago. In the early part of her career, Reverend Novick worked with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights organizing in Chicago.
As a Belfer Fellow, Reverend Novick is part of a team that is building an augmented reality app that will provide guided tours of the Bronzeville and Pilsen neighborhoods of Chicago. Bronzeville is a largely African American community; Pilsen is largely Latinx. The intentions of the design process and the app itself are to help to connect the African-American and Latinx communities and provide users of the app with engaging information about each community’s positive assets in five areas: history, culture, community heroes, the arts, and nature. As part of the process, the team has engaged in discussions and collaborations with community leaders, residents, artists, and young people across both communities. She will be writing a report on how the process of building the app facilitated these important conversations and connections, and the learnings that can be taken from these experiences.
Work by Rev. Dr. Novick for the Belfer Fellowship