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Race, Technology and Civil Society: Foundations + Intersections

Friday, October 9, 2020 - 9:30am to 11:00am

How is racial bias coded into technological systems? Can technology advance racial justice? How can scholars and advocates collaborate at the intersection of race and technology? 

Ruha Benjamin is Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she studies the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine. She is also the founder of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab and the author of two books, People’s Science  (Stanford) and Race After Technology (Polity), and editor of Captivating Technology (Duke). She writes, teaches, and speaks widely about the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice.

Rediet Abebe is a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and an incoming Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University. Her research broadly falls in the fields of algorithms and AI, with a focus on equity and justice concerns. Specifically, she designs and analyzes algorithmic, optimization, and network-based techniques to improve access to opportunity for historically under-served and disadvantaged communities. She also work on human-centered approaches to mechanism design and co-founded and co-organizes Mechanism Design for Social Good (MD4SG), an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research initiative. 

Matthew Cagle is a Technology and Civil Liberties Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, where he works on digital rights issues, including privacy, surveillance, and free speech. Matt focuses on ensuring modern digital systems – be they private platforms or public projects – are publicly debated and implemented with equality and justice in mind. In his role at the ACLU, Matt works with communities and policymakers to end discriminatory and secretive police surveillance. Matt has helped lead efforts to pass surveillance legislation across the Bay Area and served on the groundbreaking Oakland committee that restricted a vast surveillance complex and created a first-of-its-kind Privacy Advisory Commission.

Duana Fullwiley (Moderator) is a literary medical anthropologist and ethnographer of science who teaches in the department of Anthropology and is a Race & Technology Affiliate at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She writes broadly about ethics, genomics, and global health to better understand how humans imagine and seed ideas of biological difference. She has authored award-winning anthropological works focused on the actors within science who have written the normative languages of their fields in terms of race, nation, territory, and ever-shifting concepts of inclusion and citizenship. With projects that span global metropolises in West Africa, France, and the United States, Fullwiley’s scholarship engages larger questions of ethics and power with an increasing interest in algorithmic and automated systems to track health, migration, and identity. She serves on Stanford’s Ethics Review Board (ERB) and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Simons Institute’s Theory of Computing for Fairness collaboration based at UC Berkeley.

Event Sponsor: 
Hosted by the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Co-sponsored by Digital Civil Society Lab, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), and Program in African & African American Studies
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Time Commitment: 
< 3 hours