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School of Engineering

Sponsoring diversity in computer science

Thursday, April 22, 2021
The Department of Computer Science continues to sponsor events dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Halligan Hall in the spring

The Department of Computer Science continuously strives to support and encourage diversity at Tufts, and is proud to co-sponsor diversity events, including the Black Womyn’s Empowerment Conference this spring and, in the fall, a talk by Dr. Kendall Moore.

The Tufts Africana Center hosted the Black Womyn’s Empowerment Conference (BWEC) on March 12 and 13. Conference coordinator Amber Asumda, A22, reported that nearly 200 registrants signed up to attend. “The BWEC was a virtual and student-run event that was open and free to all Black womyn and femme undergraduate and graduate students attending an institute of higher education throughout the Northeast [U.S.],” says Asumda.

“In total, the BWEC featured over 40 guest speakers and moderators, 6 panels, 3 workshops, and a closing keynote address from human rights advocate Reverend Nontombi Naomi, Tutu who spoke to our theme of ‘I Am Because We Are (Ubuntu).’ We also distributed meal delivery vouchers to 60 attendees based on need and session participation. Attendees from schools throughout the Northeast thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have left raving reviews! As of now, we plan to instate the BWEC as an annual conference for years to come!” For information on future conferences, please contact bweconference@gmail.com.

In the fall, the CS department will join the Department of Mathematics and a number of other Tufts groups in co-sponsoring an invited talk by Dr. Kendall Moore. Dr. Moore will screen her documentary Can We Talk? Difficult Conversations with Underrepresented People of Color and discuss barriers faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in STEM. The event will be held on Friday, September 17 at 1:00 PM. Whether it will be hosted via Zoom or in-person will be determined by COVID-19 safety guidelines in the fall. A second workshop will be scheduled later in the fall term or early in the spring.

As described on Dr. Moore’s website, “The film series Can We Talk? explores the issue of ‘social belonging’ in the context of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and the effect it has on the lives of underrepresented people of color (UR-POC) who are pursuing an education or career in STEM; or, have decided to leave because of an overwhelming feeling of not belonging.”