The Research Coalition for Black Women & Girls in Computing is proud to announce the first Black Women in Computing Conference to be held in Washington, D.C. on January 6-8 2017.
Black women are a segment of the population that is one of the least represented in computing, and increasing their representation is further challenged by the lack of positive messages in media that celebrate their contributions to technology. In an effort to combat this lack of awareness, it is important to amplify the voice of a thriving community of black women in computing and technologists. The Research Coalition for Black Women & Girls in Computing, a member organization serving the Black Women in Computing (BWIC) Community, provides a platform for supporting the community of black women (and girls) through education and professional development. Leaders in the coalition are organizing this conference.
The goals of this inaugural conference are three-fold:
- To validate and delve deeper into the strategies and plan of action as defined by participants in the inaugural Black Women in Computing workshop;
- To cross-reference those analysis with any new or unexplored intersectional experiences of black women in CS; and
- To lay the foundation for a larger, international conference for black women in computing, across all sectors (i.e., academia, industry, government, non-profit), including plans for dissemination and funding sustainability.
In January 2016, the inaugural Black Women in Computing Workshop was held in Washington, DC. The goals of the two-day workshop were to 1) explore the intersectional experiences of black women in the computing sciences, and 2) formulate strategies into an actionable plan that will address the lack of awareness around this intersectionality. The participants at the workshop discussed key issues, concerns, and strategies for each theme. They created an action plan of next steps for each, creating initial working teams for each theme, and assigning a lead for each.
- Theme 1: Linking black women in computing to the bottom line for accountability
- Theme 2: Developing key influencers and thought leaders
- Theme 3: Increased cultural and educational supports for black women in computing
- Theme 4: Leadership development
- Theme 5: Lack of collective research about black women in computing
- Theme 6: Our voices: Illuminating our trials and triumphs
- Theme 7: Branding and communication
The feedback gathered from workshop participants was overwhelmingly positive. Benefits that were most commonly cited by the participants include:
- Sharing their experiences in a safe and supportive environment
- Affirming the intersectionality of race and gender, and owning the identity and role of black women in computing
- Collectively creating an action plan of solutions to promote black women in computing
Questions? Contact BWG.computing.coalition[at]gmail.com