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2024 NCWIT Summit

The 2024 NCWIT Summit took place May 20–22, 2024, in Kansas City, MO, at the Loews Kansas City Hotel. This year, the Summit was in-person, with livestreams of sessions taking place on the plenary stage available for online participation. Check the NCWIT Media Hub for clips and recordings!

Where Conversations Lead to Change

With NCWIT being the trusted source for research-based strategies that facilitate reform in computing classes and technical organizations, the NCWIT Summit continues to be the world’s largest annual convening of change leaders focused on significantly improving diversity and equity in computing.

I always learn from both presenters and other attendees — either a new perspective on something I’m struggling with or a new idea about how to tackle different challenges. [NCWIT challenges] me to think differently and act differently… It’s also a very engaging conference; we don’t just sit back and listen, we work.

Logistics

The 2024 NCWIT Summit will take place in Kansas City, MO, at the Loews Kansas City Hotel. Please make hotel reservations no later than April 26th, which is when the discounted rate expires. The hotel is approximately 20 miles from Kansas City International Airport. Read more about the hotel and Kansas City.

Use the Whova app to access the agenda and plan which sessions you’ll attend. 

Agenda

Monday, May 20, 2024

1:00–2:30PM

Welcome and Joanne McGrath Cohoon Memorial Plenary

The Professional Culture of STEM: Challenges and Possibilities with Erin Cech

What does the culture of STEM have to do with inequality? Professional cultures of STEM, which give each discipline its particular “feel” and unite discipline members under a taken-for-granted system of meanings and values, are not benign. Drawing from several US National Science Foundation-funded studies, articles, and my recent book, Misconceiving Merit, I argue that these professional cultures can have built within them intersectional inequalities along gender, race/ethnicity, and LGBTQ+ status. I discuss the role of three cultural ideologies—the Schema of Scientific Excellence, Depoliticization, and the Meritocratic Ideology—in producing these disadvantages. I will then discuss how we can interrupt these ideologies: how we can be vigilant about these ideologies in our organizations, how we check our own understanding of STEM excellence, and how we can cultivate a growth mindset around inclusion.

3:00–4:30PM

Alliance Meetings

5:00–6:30PM

Reception (light fare)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

9:00–10:30AM  

Panel Discussion: Working Toward a More Inclusive Future for Tech

Technology surrounds us and is increasingly pervasive in all we do and see. We’ve got ChatGPT and the rise of AI everywhere, smart drone tech, electric vehicles that drive themselves, virtual and augmented reality making a resurgence, and the mysteries of quantum science are poised to influence everything. These advances can be overwhelming and bewildering — but what does it all mean for our society?  In particular, what does it mean for inclusion and equity?  How can we get ahead of these new technologies and harness their potential for a more just and innovative future?  How can we avoid the pitfalls of the past and avoid playing catch up with respect to mitigating cultural collateral damage — especially when it comes to the marginalized people in the world?

Moderated by Bryndan D. Moore, an African-American engineer, futurist, and multimedia producer. He is a leading voice at the intersection of innovation and societal impact.

The panel will feature:

Margaret Martonosi – H.T. Adams ’35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University

Angelique Taylor – Assistant Professor in the Information Science Department at Cornell Tech and Director of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab (AIRLab)

Diya K. Wynn – Responsible AI Lead at AWS

Gia Ramos – NCWIT Aspirations in Computing National Winner and Founder of Girl Innovation

 

11:00–12:30PM 

Workshop Block 1

DEI and Educational Censorship Legislation with Jeremy Young

In this session led by Jeremy Young of PEN America, we will examine the current state of educational censorship, and what strategies or resources are available to educational leaders in CS Education.

Team Member Selection for Project Alignment with Julia Williams

In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to two tools that can help you as you work with project teams. The first tool is designed to help team leaders identify needs for the project and align team member selection to those needs. The second tool encourages team members to communicate about the projects and their impacts using narrative techniques. Your work today will be hands on and will prepare you for using these tools with your teams.

Creating Inclusive Climates for Students of Color with Erika Dawson Head (does not repeat)

This interactive session will help you develop and/or advance your ability to support inclusive environments for students of color. This workshop was designed and created from a place of radical love, a yearning for social justice, and a desire to inspire real inclusion in higher education environments for students of color. You will learn how to transition from listening to issues to taking action. Participants will develop skills that will increase their knowledge to develop inclusive programs, recruit, and support students of color, engage in difficult conversations, and understand privilege. Come and join me in this beautiful journey as we become better together.

Macroeconomics in Color with Nikki Lanier

The browning of the working-class world, by 2045, will require the bold and unprecedented ascension of people of color into the middle class and beyond. This “fix” happens at work. This conundrum transcends the “right thing to do” argument of the past, and requires our demonstrative correction of the lingering impact of difference equating to deficit.

Racism is one of the most significant economic issues we face today and therefore must be addressed in every system, structure, and organization where it thrives.

Cultivating Connections: Bridging Cultural and Identity Differences in Mentorship and Sponsorship with Lisa Fain

In this interactive session, you will explore the roles of mentorship and sponsorship at the intersection of culture and identity. You will discover how leveraging diverse backgrounds can not only enhance these relationships but also drive meaningful professional and personal growth.  You’ll learn how to distinguish between mentoring and sponsoring, to identify the role of culture and the impact of bias in mentoring, and get practical guidance on mentoring best practices.

Liberatory Futures for Computing Literacy with Amy Ko (Mini-Plenary, does not repeat)

I see two futures of technology, playing out in a parallel. One in which it further empowers the powerful, who will use it to enrich themselves at the expense of others. And another in which the powerless harness it to reimagine power. I hope for a future in which people recognize that technology is not the point; people and community are, and technology is just a tool to enrich our collective lives.

Increasing Student Persistence in Computing: NSF BPC Alliances Share Their Practices

Each Alliance will answer one of the following questions and share how to get involved:
Q. What is your Alliance’s strongest intervention to promote student persistence in computing?
Q. What is your Alliance’s strongest method of increasing computing exposure for students who have been historically under-represented?

1:30–3:00PM 

Workshop Block 2

DEI and Educational Censorship Legislation with Jeremy Young

In this session led by Jeremy Young of PEN America, we will examine the current state of educational censorship, and what strategies or resources are available to educational leaders in CS Education.

Team Member Selection for Project Alignment with Julia Williams

In this workshop, you’ll be introduced to two tools that can help you as you work with project teams. The first tool is designed to help team leaders identify needs for the project and align team member selection to those needs. The second tool encourages team members to communicate about the projects and their impacts using narrative techniques. Your work today will be hands on and will prepare you for using these tools with your teams.

Tools and Strategies for Leading Undergraduate Systemic Change (does not repeat)

This session will provide strategies and tools departmental change leaders can leverage in their home departments to broaden participation in undergraduate computing. Specifically, participants from NCWIT’s Higher Ed Learning Circles will share knowledge, skills, and strategies they gained from their participation in the Learning Circles initiative, and how these concepts are being translated into actions that will diversify and holistically benefit their undergraduate communities. Additionally, NCWIT higher ed research associates will interactively walk session attendees through utilizing NCWIT’s online Tech Inclusion Journey® for Undergraduate Programs (TIJ-UP) departmental assessment and strategic planning platform. The TIJ-UP is a tool that those in higher education who are working to broaden participation in computing can use to: build a common vision; identify gaps in knowledge and practices; improve communication and coordination; prioritize goals; develop an actionable strategic plan; and connect to NCWIT resources. To learn more, please visit the NCWIT Learning Circles webpage.

Macroeconomics in Color with Nikki Lanier

The browning of the working-class world, by 2045, will require the bold and unprecedented ascension of people of color into the middle class and beyond. This “fix” happens at work. This conundrum transcends the “right thing to do” argument of the past, and requires our demonstrative correction of the lingering impact of difference equating to deficit.

Racism is one of the most significant economic issues we face today and therefore must be addressed in every system, structure, and organization where it thrives.

Cultivating Connections: Bridging Cultural and Identity Differences in Mentorship and Sponsorship with Lisa Fain

In this interactive session, you will explore the roles of mentorship and sponsorship at the intersection of culture and identity. You will discover how leveraging diverse backgrounds can not only enhance these relationships but also drive meaningful professional and personal growth.  You’ll learn how to distinguish between mentoring and sponsoring, to identify the role of culture and the impact of bias in mentoring, and get practical guidance on mentoring best practices.

Beyond Tech Skills, Supporting First-Generation Professionals as They Navigate Their Career with Jacob Martinez and Kelsey Flood (Mini-Plenary, does not repeat)

Digital NEST provides underserved youth from under-resourced rural communities in California with the skills, resources, and network to build and launch successful careers. We operate NEST centers in five cities in California: Watsonville, Salinas, Gilroy, Modesto, and soon Stockton. Our free programs provide a bridge for underserved youth—87% Latinx and 40% women—to enter tech careers from which they have been historically excluded. Since opening our doors, nearly 3,800 14–24-year-olds have engaged in Digital NEST programming, helping to create a more diverse tech workforce.

We work closely with tech businesses to engage their employees as mentors and to create a pipeline for NEST members so they can transition into paid internships and career-path positions. Alumni who secure tech jobs help ensure the door that was opened to them is open to other members by advocating for them and providing guidance as they begin their careers.

Inspire the Future: Mentor an AiC Community Member (does not repeat)

Join a rewarding and interactive speed-mentoring session for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Community members who are NCWIT AiC Collegiate Award recipients and AiC Story Ambassadors. Your mentorship will cultivate confidence and guide these students in their journeys into tech. Higher Ed and Workforce members are encouraged to join as mentors.

4:00–5:00PM

Frames of Understanding:  A Conversation on the History and Science of Race

Embark on a transformative journey with us in “Frames of Understanding: A Conversation on the History and Science of Race,” a session dedicated to unpacking the story of race through an inspiring blend of film and conversation. This unique session is designed to enlighten, engage, and empower participants by examining how race and science have shaped social norms, sparking a vibrant conversation.
 
We invite participants to contribute questions, share insights, and participate in a real-time exchange of ideas. This session offers the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and understanding of race, connect with others, and contribute to the rich tapestry of perspectives and experiences that reinforce and strengthen our community bonds.
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

9:00–10:30AM  

Inspirational Closing Plenary with Billy Mills

Billy Mills was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Although Pine Ridge is very rich in culture and spirit, it is continually recognized economically as one of the poorest communities in America with unemployment reaching 80%.

Billy was orphaned by the age of 12 and sent to boarding schools. He graduated from high school Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kansas. Billy became involved in distance running and earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Kansas.

Never winning a major race in track and field or cross country, he continued to show promise by making All-American seven times.

Upon graduating from the University of Kansas, Billy was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and continued training for the Olympic Team in 1964. He made the Olympic Team in two events, the marathon and the 10,000 meter run. He trained his body, mind, and soul for “peak performance”. And the world was about to see the greatest upset in Olympic history unfold.

Today, Billy is an accomplished businessman, author and National Spokesperson for Christian Relief Services and Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

A major motion picture has been made about Billy, titled “Running Brave” and has been a positive influence on many of our American youth.

10:30–12:00PM  

Networking Brunch

Speakers

Erin Cech

Dr. Erin Cech (she/her) is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Mechanical Engineering (by courtesy) at the University of Michigan. She earned...

Fran Berman

Dr. Berman joined the College of Information and Computer Sciences at UMass Amherst as Director of Public Interest Technology and Stuart Rice Research Professor in 2021. Previously,...

Brianna Blaser

Through her work at the DO-IT Center at the University of Washington, Brianna Blaser works to increase the participation of people with disabilities in science...

Joshua Childs

Joshua Childs is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. His research examines the...

Emanuel Cleaver, II

Emanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his tenth term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman. He is a member...

Erika Lynn Dawson Head

Erika Lynn Dawson Head, M.S. is the founding Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusive Community Development and Director of the Massenberg STEM Institute at the Manning...

Leigh Ann DeLyser

Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser has spent her career building the K-12 computer science (CS) field. As an Executive Director of CSforALL (csforall.org), she oversees programs...

Lisa Z. Fain

Lisa Z. Fain is the Center for Mentoring Excellence™ CEO, a global speaker, and an expert in the intersection of cultural competency and mentoring. Her...

Kelsey Flood

Kelsey Flood believes deeply that education and access have the transformative power to bring forth economic justice. Kelsey began her career as a high school...

Kate France

Kate France is a PharmD candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy on the beautiful Duluth campus. She is the founder of Scientists...

Ann Quiroz Gates

Dr. Ann Quiroz Gates is Senior Advisor to the Provost for Strategic STEM Initiatives and the past Senior Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs at the...

Sharmaine Jackson, Ph.D.

Sharmaine Jackson serves as the Racial Equity Director at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In...

Dr. Renée Jordan

Dr. Renée Jordan, an accomplished professional with over 16 years in education, currently serves as the Associate Director for Operations, Finances, and Compliance at the...

Dr. Shalini Kesar

Dr. Kesar is a professor in cybersecurity and Director of MS-Cybersecurity with Information Assurance (CSIA) at Southern Utah University (SUU). As an educator, she has been in front...

Amy J. Ko

Amy J. Ko is a Professor at the University of Washington Information School, where she studies humanity’s individual and collective struggle to understand computing. She...

Nikki Lanier

When asked why she has focused so much of her professional life onadvancing racial equity, Nikki Lanier will tell you it was anassignment passed to...

Jacob Martinez

In 2014, Jacob founded Digital NEST—a technology workforce development hub providing youth in rural communities with high-demand technology skills, mentoring and hands-on experience so they...

Margaret Martonosi

Margaret Martonosi is the H.T. Adams ’35 Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. Martonosi’s research...

Billy Mills

Billy Mills (born June 30, 1938), also known as Tamokoce Te’Hila, is an Oglala Lakota Gold Medalist in the 10,000M run at the 1964 Tokyo...

Bryndan D. Moore

Bryndan D. Moore, an African-American engineer, futurist, and multimedia producer, is a leading voice at the intersection of innovation and societal impact. As the visionary...

Jamie Payton

Jamie Payton is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University. Her research interests include pervasive computing systems...

Gia Ramos

Gia Ramos, a Cornell University undergrad from Gurabo, Puerto Rico, is passionate about tech. She’s a Forbes 30 Under 30, aiming to make a difference...

Susan H. Rodger

Susan H. Rodger is a Professor of the Practice in the Computer Science Department at Duke University. She received her PhD in Computer Science from...

Angela D. R. Smith

Angela D. R. Smith is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her doctoral degree...

Angelique Taylor

Angelique Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Information Science Department at Cornell Tech and Director of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab (AIRLab) focusing...

Dr. Nicki Washington

Dr. Nicki Washington is a professor of the practice of computer science and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies at Duke University and the author of Unapologetically...

Julia M. Williams

Julia M. Williams is the author of Making Changes in STEM Education: The Change Maker’s Toolkit (Routledge/CRC Press, 2023), a research-based, practice-focused guide to achieving...

Diya K. Wynn

Diya is a Responsible AI Lead at AWS that started and led customer engagement globally on Responsible AI. In 2023, she was named one of...

Jeremy C. Young

Jeremy C. Young is the Freedom to Learn program director at PEN America. In this role, he leads PEN America’s efforts to fight government censorship in educational institutions, with a particular focus on the higher education sector. He directs PEN America’s work on educational gag...

Sponsors

This Year's Summit is Sponsored by:

PNC
VSP Vision logo - VSP in blue and Vision in grey
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 NCWIT Summit are available. Learn more, or email [email protected] for more information.
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