During the 2019 NCWIT Summit, we sat down with several plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and other change leaders from the NCWIT community to discuss their perspectives on valuing diversity, changing systems (as opposed to “fixing” underrepresented individuals), recognizing bias, and more. The end result was a series of short videos that not only captures what drives these change leaders in their inclusion efforts, but also highlights research-based recommendations from the vast collection of NCWIT resources.
In this video, co-hosts Dr. Kyla McMullen and Dr. Jeremy Magruder Waisome talk about their goals for the Modern Figures Podcast, which is produced in collaboration with the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS) and NCWIT. This interview-format podcast focuses on the voices of Black women studying and working in the tech field, while also exploring the wide variety of ways in which computer science permeates diverse disciplines.
DR. JEREMY MAGRUDER WAISOME: I do think it’s important for people to understand that computer science is something that’s accessible to everyone.
DR. JEREMY MAGRUDER WAISOME: We try to spend a lot of time really focusing on using language that everyone can understand to make it clear that there are ways in which anyone can engage in computer science and technology.
DR. KYLA MCMULLEN: One other thing too, I think they should take away is the fact that computing permeates every aspect of every discipline. It’s not its own sole discipline. You know, there’s so many applications, like computers and biology, finance, big data, like manufacturing, like there’s so many different areas. So there is no, like, one role of a computer scientist, like you can have, you know, an arts background and have a way to incorporate computing into it. So just so people can see that it’s not this monolithic thing.