- The political economy that undergirds issues of transnationalism, hybrid identities, and coalition-building are discussed and analyzed thoroughly in relevant humanities and social science courses. Prioritize these courses as part of STEM curriculum.
- The onus should not be on talented young people to have to decide between their communities and their “success.” Tech companies should provide the time and resources for employees, especially people of color with “insider’s knowledge,” to connect with community leaders in order to help develop these crucial programs.
- Protect spaces for people from underrepresented groups to gather and support each other. Provide opportunities for these different groups to spend time with each other, learn from one another, and strategize together to build better/ alternative futures. Encourage members of overrepresented groups to join these dialogues, if they are willing to let others lead.
- Listen and learn from leaders already doing the work of diversity in related movements, who aren’t always specifically in tech or in your field. We need computer science students who read broadly across social science and humanities to unpack institutional racism, just like we need our humanities majors to take computation courses in order to unpack coding logics.
- Whether an empowered coder superhero or an empowered blue-collar worker, the coding hero/worker, along with all Silicon Valley workers (“direct” and in supporting roles) deserves a living wage.
Our second keynote who jumpstarted the full day of presentations was brilliant scholar Ruha Benjamin, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, and her presentation was ‘The New Jim Code? Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life.’ Her question asked was, “How are novel technologies deployed in carceral approaches to governing life well beyond the domain of policing? But also, to what end do we imagine? How can transformation of our political, cultural and social norms work towards collective forms of freedom? And how might technoscience be appropriated and reimagined for more liberatory ends?”
She continued to say, “The task as I see it is not only to resist discriminatory design to the extent possible, but to work with others to imagine and create alternatives to the sociotechno quo, as part of a larger struggle to materialize collective freedoms and flourishing.”
In the photo below are some of the studies she referenced:
Race After the Internet Edited by Lisa Nakamura and Peter Chow-White
TechniColor, Race Technology and Everyday Life Edited by Alondra Nelson, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Alicia Headlam Hines
Cyber Racism White Supremacy Online and the New Attack on Civil Rights by Jesse Daniels
Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Browne
Digital Diaspora : A Race for Cyberspace by Anna Everett
The Social Life of DNA by Alondra Nelson
Cybertypes by Lisa Nakamura
Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble
And other panels were also full of important info. Our first panel Social Media for Social Change was livestreamed you can view here:
There were presentations by:
- Dr. Elena Machado Sáez on the Conscripts of Neoliberalism: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Twitter Activism
- Guadalupe Madrigal with “Call ICE and Demand Their Release”: Latinx Undocumented Publics and Hashtag Anti-Detention Campaigns
- Rafael Ramirez Solorzano with Notes from the Trail Blogging Across the South
- Janel Martinez presenting From Tumblr, Twitter to Instagram: How Afro-Latinx Women Power Identity Conversations Online
There was a lunch presentation on Algorithms by Kiran Samuels which was also livestreamed:
The second panel was The Datafication of Race & Ethnicity and was partially livestreamed (sorry our phone died!)
- Dr. Charlton McIlwain with Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice
- Marcel Rosa-Salas with “You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure”: Surveillance Capitalism & the Racial Politics of Data Representation
- Dr. Iván Chaar-López on Automating Immigration Control: Latinxs in the History of Data Bodies
- Andrea Flores on Hashtag Data & Latinx Identities
The third panel was Making Latinx Identities in Digital Media also livestreamed:
- Michaela Machicote on The Digital Politics and Contours of (Afro) Latinidad
- George N. Ramírez on “…brown magic in the galaxy…”: Transcendence, Portability, and the Performance of Latinidad in Latinx Podcasts
- Dr. Cecilia Marquez on Latinx White Supremacy and the Digital Sphere
- Dr. Maria Elena Cepeda on Putting a Good Face on the Nation: Racialized Beauty, Memes and the Gendered Rebranding of Global Colombianidad
We want to thank our participants and those who tuned in online so much! We are looking forward to continuing conversations around race and digital spheres and encouraging the scholarship around developing solutions to their embedded issues.