Advancing Racial Equity in Tech
Thursday, March 2 // 10 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. MT / 12 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. ET
On March 2nd, we heard from two leaders at the forefront of advancing racial equity in computing: Dr. Allison Scott, CEO of the Kapor Center, and Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, the National Director of Education Innovation and Research for the NAACP. The Kapor Center’s work focuses at the intersection of racial justice and technology, and they are committed to fighting for racial justice and creating a more inclusive technology sector. The NAACP is the home of grassroots activism for civil rights and social justice, and has been working to disrupt systemic inequities since 1909.
Together, the Kapor Center and the NAACP published “The State of Tech Diversity: The Black Tech Ecosystem,” as a means to offer concrete solutions for improving access and inclusion for Black Americans in tech. In this conversation, we discussed the current landscape and learned more about the each speaker’s individual and collective efforts to positively impact the future of computing.
Dr. Allison Scott is the CEO of the Kapor Foundation, which focuses at the intersection of racial justice and technology and works to remove barriers in access and opportunity, such that the promise and potential of technology can be harnessed to create a more equitable future. At the Foundation, Dr. Scott leads a team which works to: (a) expand equity in K-12 computer science education, (b) expand diversity within tech companies and VC firms, and (c) advance key policies to transform the technology ecosystem. Dr. Scott is currently a Principal Investigator on multiple national grants to expand equity in computer science education and in her previous role as the Chief Research Officer, authored foundational research on disparities in tech, inequity in CS education, and interventions to improve STEM education outcomes for students of color. Previous positions included: Chief Research Officer at the Kapor Center; Program Leader for the National Institutes of Health’s Enhancing the Diversity of the Biomedical Workforce Initiative; Director of Research and Evaluation for the Level Playing Field Institute, and Data Analyst for the Education Trust-West. Dr. Scott holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hampton University.
Dr. Ivory A. Toldson is the National Director of Education Innovation and Research for the NAACP, Professor of Counseling Psychology at Howard University, and Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Negro Education. Previously, Dr. Toldson was appointed by President Barack Obama to devise national strategies to sustain and expand federal support to HBCUs as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHIHBCUs). He also served as president and CEO of the QEM Network and contributing education editor for The Root, where he debunked some of the most pervasive myths about African-Americans in his Show Me the Numbers column. Dr. Toldson is the executive editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Research, published by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. He is also the author of Brill Bestseller, No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear about Black People. Dr. Toldson is ranked among the nation’s top education professors as a member of Education Week’s Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, an annual list recognizes university-based scholars across the nation who are champions in shaping educational practice and policy.
About NCWIT Conversations for Change
Get ready for conversations, Q&As, on-demand videos, and more! Fully immerse yourself in research-based recommendations and peer-to-peer discussions to further your efforts in creating inclusive cultures. Please join us live in order to take part in the Q&A. If you cannot attend live, a recording will be made available on our YouTube.