Critical Race Theory in HCI

Last week, I attended one of the meetups of the Chicago local ACM Chapter. ACM has several SIGs – Special Interest Groups, and technically speaking, I am a part of only one of them: SIGMOD (Management of Data) and also a member of ACM-W – Women in Computing. 

“Before all this started” (everybody these days have to say this, referring to our previous life), so – before it all started, I attended some of the ACM meetups, but not that often. 

The Chicago local chapter of ACM SIGCHI – Computer-Human Interaction – is something outside my area of interest, but I started to attend their virtual events and became more and more interested, and now I want to share it with my network :). 

The topic of the last week’s meetup was  “Critical Race Theory For HCI”, and I regret I didn’t publicize this event! It was so-so-so worth attending!

I am going to cite one example which started this presentation, and you will see what I am talking about. 

Here is the situation. A child is doing a project about a family vacation. If you would google images for “family vacation,” you will see the images of white families on exotic beaches. And it will take you, they said, six pages scrolling to get to the first picture of a non-white family. And if you refine your search with specifying “black family,” you will get pictures with a very different type of vacation. And you might need to refine your search even more. 

This picture is bad enough, especially because when you hear that, you realize right away that it’s true! And you just never thought about it. Well, maybe you did, but I didn’t!  

Afterward, there was a conversation about what can be done to change things and how we can all make it better in technical aspects and personnel management. And I think that was the most important take-away: do not let yourself off guard. Keep questioning yourself. 

And, if this all sounded interesting – consider joining this meetup!

1 Comment

Filed under events, talks

One response to “Critical Race Theory in HCI

  1. Hettie D.

    Reblogged this on Hettie's Reflections and commented:

    Reblogging from my professional blog

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