CREDO funding is helping UltraViolet drive feminist cultural and political change

Through people power and strategic advocacy, our long-time allies at UltraViolet are working to improve the lives of women of all identities and backgrounds by disrupting patriarchy and creating a cost for sexism. 

Since 2014, CREDO members have helped us donate $273,496, and the organization was most recently a March 2021 recipient of a $53,520 grant. Since receiving the grant, UltraViolet has achieved several victories in combating the spread of racist and misogynist disinformation and creating a world where all women can thrive. 

Here are just a small sample of some of UltraViolet’s recent victories, which the CREDO grant made possible:

Combatting Sexist And Racist Disinformation By Holding Social Media Platforms Accountable For The Amplification And Proliferation Of Hate Speech And Racist And Misogynist Disinformation

Over the past few months, UltraViolet continued to build an inside-outside strategy in advocating against misogynist and racist disinformation and for deep policy changes on social media platforms. UltraViolet met several times with senior leadership at TikTok and Twitter to call out the platforms’ inconsistent policies and highlight UltraViolet’s and coalition partners’ demands. 

Here’s just one example of how the organization has worked to hold Big Tech accountable: 

At Twitter, UltraViolet now has a direct relationship with the Head of National Security, Democracy, and Civil Rights Public Policy, Americas. We secured a big win: After public pressure and months of one-on-one conversations with Twitter leadership, Twitter began testing a COVID-19 disinformation reporting function for users. UltraViolet and allies launched a petition calling on Twitter to create a COVID-19 disinformation reporting button in early August, and on August 17, Twitter rolled out a “misleading information reporting function.” Twitter users can now report misleading COVID-19 information, triggering Twitter’s internal content moderation system. UltraViolet is currently monitoring the effectiveness of the reporting button and will follow up with Twitter.

Advancing Survivor Justice And Working To End Violence Against Women And Girls

Survivors of sexual violence are demanding justice and calling for perpetrators to be held accountable, and UltraViolet is creating campaigns supporting survivors. They are leading a coalition to create a new, more fair, and more transparent process for political workplaces to address sexual abuse allegations, so that sexual predators are kept from positions of power in the first place.

UltraViolet was one of the first and leading organizations of the #MeToo movement to call for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s resignation for his widespread sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment. Since UltraViolet’s inception in 2012, they have always listened to and sided with survivors over powerful interests, which is why the organization called for Cuomo’s immediate removal from power despite the popular opinion that Cuomo couldn’t be forced out. 

Throughout New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of Cuomo, UltraViolet spearheaded the development of principles and processes for how such investigations should be conducted–so that they are transparent, trauma-informed, and fair to survivors–and published them in The Washington Post and shared them with the attorney general’s team. 

After checking in with some of the survivors, UltraViolet made sure to let them know that it had their backs by flying two airplane banners in New York–one in Albany and another in the Hamptons–calling for Cuomo’s removal from power. The organization also delivered a letter with more than 500 signatures from New York survivors and kept the pressure on Cuomo by keeping this story in the news. 

Bridget Todd, the group’s communications director, made an appearance on MSNBC, and Shaunna Thomas, its executive director, and Elisa Batista, its survivor justice campaign director, made appearances on the New York affiliates of ABC News, NBC News, and Univision (with the interview conducted in Spanish), discussing their work calling for accountability in cases of sexual abuse and harassment, including accountability for those in positions of power. 

UltraViolet helped ignite an intersectional feminist awakening in the United States, and they are working to create lasting, impactful change and build a world beyond sexual violence, where all women can thrive. Following Cuomo’s resignation, Elisa published an op-ed on what true accountability means for survivors. 

If you’d like to learn more about UltraViolet’s important work to combat racist and misogynist disinformation and create a more inclusive world that accurately represents all women, please visit their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.