Joining the UCLA C2i2 Scholar’s Council

Today, UCLA announced that the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2), led by Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble and Dr. Sarah T. Roberts, received a $2.9M Award to launch the Minderoo Initiative on Technology and Power. As the C2i2 website explains,

“This initiative will critically investigate the social impact of digital technologies on communities and the broader public good. It will create new paradigms for the public to understand the harms of tech platforms, predictive technologies, advertising-driven algorithmic content, and the work of digital laborers.”

I am excited and incredibly humbled to announce that I have been invited to join the Scholars’ Council at the Center with a number of amazing “scholars, artists, activists and leaders who share a commitment to standing up to unjust technologies and systems. As such, they are an integral part of our growing community and represent the breadth and depth of the work we can do together.”

Now, it’s time to get to work.

JoCI Editor-In-Chief in 2020

I will be writing more about this in the days (and years) ahead, but I wanted to share the news that I will be the new Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Community Informatics starting in February 2020. Eduardo Villanueva, the journal’s current Editor-In-Chief made the announcement yesterday on the last day of the CIRN 2019 conference. Here’s the tweet below from Aldo de Moor announcing the news yesterday.

New Course: “Intersectionality, Technology and the Information Professions”

I am excited to announce that we are offering a new course, titled “Intersectionality, Technology and the Information Professions” (LIS 532P) at Simmons SLIS in spring 2020. The course, which I helped to develop with my colleague Danielle Pollock builds on Danielle’s work teaching “Race, Gender, and Information Technology” at the University of Tennessee and some of the perspectives I had incorporated in my Social Informatics course last year. We are also collaborating with our SLIS colleague Rebecca Davis to finalize the syllabus, course readings, and assignments for next semester.

Here’s the course description from our website:

“This course focuses on how race, gender, and other intersecting social identities, such as sexuality, social class, and ability, impact and are impacted by people’s interactions with information, technology, and the information professions. The contexts include culture, inclusion, and equity within: information professions; information technologies and services; classification and information organization; and information environments, including virtual environments. Students will gain a deeper understanding of critical perspectives on expressions of identity, disparate impact on use and users of technology, digital equity, and implications for professional practice.”

Co-Editing Special Issue on “Digital Inclusion Across the Globe”

I am excited and honored to announce that I will be co-editing a special issue in an upcoming issue of the peer-reviewed open access journal Social inclusion with my colleague, Dr. Bianca Reisdorf (UNC Charlotte). The title of the special issue is “Digital Inclusion Across the Globe: What Is Being Done to Tackle Digital Inequities?

Here is a snippet from our call for papers:

“In this thematic issue, we invite papers from across the globe that examine digital inclusion—the process of trying to address digital inequities, inequalities, and divides. What initiatives have been or are being applied in different countries, regions, cities, or communities to foster digital inclusion and with what effect? The scope of this call is purposely broad to include all types of communities. For example, submissions might discuss digital inclusion efforts with vulnerable populations, such as prisoners and those formerly incarcerated, disenfranchised youth, refugee or immigrant populations, and other marginalized groups and communities. We invite papers from across the globe and especially welcome papers addressing digital inclusion in the Global South and BRIC countries. We also invite papers using any methodology (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and so forth) to examine digital inclusion across various contexts and communities.”

An Ethics of Care for Digital Equity

We had a great pre-conference workshop, titled “New Ways of Thinking About Digital Equity” at the Net Inclusion Summit in Cleveland yesterday. The workshop was organized and sponsored by the Center for Digital Inclusion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences, where I received my PhD and was affiliated as a Research Scholar. It was a real honor to join a panel with such distinguished and talented individuals, including Emily Knox, CM! Winters, and Barbara Jones.

During the workshop, I presented an ethics of care framework for digital equity based on a paper that Dr. Miriam Sweeney and I published in Information, Communication, & Society last year, titled “Creating Caring Institutions for Community Informatics.” At the end of the presentation we had a great break-out session in which we asked folks in the room to respond to the following questions:

  • Where does ethics of care already exist? How does it exist and who is involved? What kind of training is happening in different disciplines producing infomediaries?
  • Where are the gaps in training for care?
  • How do we integrate an ethics of care into practice and prioritize it along with digital inclusion (i.e., access, skills and content)?
  • How might we emphasize the human rather than the technological aspects of digital equity?

Here are some of the responses and wonderful ideas from the workshop below.