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The Network Challenge is a grant program designed to seed and support initiatives that grow public interest technology at the university level.

The network and challenge grants are funded through the support of the Ford Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Mastercard Impact Fund with support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, The Raikes Foundation, Schmidt Futures and The Siegel Family Endowment.

PIT-UN Network Challenge

New America awarded a total of $2.29 million to 18 grantees representing universities and colleges in the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN) to bolster their efforts to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in technology development. Grants will be used to fund interdisciplinary teaching, career pipeline development, experiential learning and network building to advance social and racial justice, climate action, cybersecurity, data equity, human rights and more.

“This year’s winning projects share a common attribute. They center on the needs of communities that have historically been excluded from access to new technology, decision making and opportunities to join the technology workforce. This equity and Inclusive focus is the engine that drives all Challenge projects. It means modeling the development of technologies through co-designing with the communities and individuals that are meant to be recipients of the tools being deployed. It also means thoughtfully engaging the work that minority-serving institutions contribute to the growing PIT field.”

Network Challenge Priority Areas

The Network Challenge follows four priority areas


Career Pipeline & Placement

Faculty & Institution Building

Strengthening the PIT University Network

Completed Challenge Grant Projects