Equity Talks @SIGCHI

Neha Kumar
ACM SIGCHI
Published in
2 min readMar 1, 2021

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As the SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC) nears the end of its current term, we are putting together a series of community-facing roundtable sessions that we’re calling Equity Talks. These will aim to discuss and summarize a number of equity issues that shape the workings of the EC and the SIGCHI community at large, circling us back to our commitment to listen, reflect, act, and represent made in June 2020:

The task that lies before us is one of weaving equity, inclusion, and solidarity into each of our scholarly and professional activities, so that “diversity and inclusion” are not add-ons, but deeply integrated into our every practice, whether it involves conference processes, volunteering responsibilities, or global community support mechanisms.

The work of listening, reflecting, acting, and representing has certainly begun, as is apparent from SIGCHI president Helena Mentis’ end-of-year report, and we have learned that these processes must be interwoven and continuous. Thus, our upcoming Equity Talks will continue where our Ask-Me-Anything sessions (in August-December 2020) left off. These Talks will be semi-curated, semi-structured, hour-long roundtable discussions, aimed at advancing the conversation on many of the concerns that our community members have voiced. Our goal is as much to foster awareness around concerns on these issues as it is to summarize them so that the new EC might be assisted in taking these on.

We invite you all as guest contributors to these discussions, and we particularly invite participation from those who have engaged with these conversations actively in their careers thus far. Please publicize these sessions widely. We will share recordings (with SLI and captions) and summaries once the sessions are completed. We are also continuing the dialogue asynchronously via our SIGCHI Discord server. Read our Code of Conduct (courtesy Cale Passmore) and Accessibility requests for the audience (courtesy our ACs for Accessibility). And we’d love to hear any inputs/feedback you have!

Neha Kumar & Shaowen Bardzell (VPs at Large)
Adriana S. Vivacqua & Vinoba Vinayagamoorthy (ACs for Equity)
Stacy Branham & Soraia Prietch (ACs for Accessibility)
Theresa Tanenbaum (VP Publications)
On behalf of the SIGCHI Executive Committee 2018–2021

We thank Cale Passmore and Miriam Sturdee for their help with moderating and documenting.

Intersections and people walking.
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

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Neha Kumar
ACM SIGCHI

Associate Prof at Georgia Tech; SIGCHI President