In this episode, Melinda Briana Epler, Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, and Frieda McAlear, Senior Research Associate at the Kapor Center, talk about “Designing For Intersectional Inclusion.” Frieda described what we can do to redress the lack of Native American representation in Computer Science while applying an intersectional lens. She’ll also share principles we can use in our workplaces and communities to improve inclusion.
- Guide to Acknowledgment and Global Map of Indigenous People
- “Expanding Digital Pathways for Native Girls” by Frieda McAlear
- Sogorea Te’ Land Trust
- Intertribal Friendship House
- “Toward a Theory of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” by Gloria Ladson-Billings
- “Culturally responsive computing: A theory revisited” by Kimberly A. Scott, Kevin Clark & Kimberly Sheridan
- Leading With Empathy & Allyship Episode 3: “Supporting Indigenous Power, Leadership & Community” With Vanessa Roanhorse
Programs Supporting Native American & Indigenous People in Tech
- Learn more about Frieda McAlear’s work at the Kapor Center: Women of Color in Computing Research Collaborative and S.M.A.S.H program
- Transgender Gender-Variant & Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), led by Janetta Louise Johnson
- American Indian Science And Engineering Society and Expanding Computer Science Opportunities for Native Girls, co-led by Dr. Kathy DeerInWater
- Mescalero Apache Computer Science programs
[Image description: promo for Leading With Empathy & Allyship with Change Catalyst logo, photo of Frieda McAlear, a woman who is smiling with short hair, with text reading “Designing For Intersectional Inclusion”]
The live show is made accessible thanks to Interpreter-Now and White Coat Captioning.
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- “The land acknowledgment process can begin a transformative process for people to be able to, first of all, acknowledge the histories that have happened on these territories. These histories, as I said, involve colonization and genocide of Native and Indigenous people here, but they also involve human trafficking and the bringing of other Indigenous people here. And imperialism has had people coming for use of resources here. There are multiple ways imperialism has created this. Start with the people’s land you are on is a way to ground the process of learning about and the erasure of Indigenous people in the world.”
- “I would start to consider institutionalizing a land acknowledgment as the tip of the iceberg. The land acknowledgment, with the accountable relationships – so being able to provide the tribes whose territories you are working or living on with some means to survive is a huge part of what these accountable relationships, what the transformation could look like in this sector. It says a lot in terms of welcoming native people into an organization or into a company when there is that practice already established. Anyone can do a land acknowledgment. You don’t have to be native. You don’t have to speak a native language in order to do a land acknowledgment. We have to pay respect to the people whose lands you are on and support them in some way.
- “There’s 574+ federally recognized tribes in the US. Like I said, we are less than 2% of the population. Each of those tribes having their own populations, their own language, history, cultures, cosmologies, and governance, we knew we would have to tailor curriculum to that context and tribes and partner communities. We needed to adapt the curriculum to include goals for sovereignty and the maturation of land in order to make it significant to our children…. That’s what culturally relevant means.”
- “The goal of culturally relevant programming is to reduce the gap between the lived experience and the home experience of children of color in order to spark their interest in computer science, and help them to remember and use the concepts in that area. Eventually the goal is these children of color will be able to identify with being successful in that subject area.”
Senior Research Associate at the Kapor Center
Frieda McAlear is the Senior Research Associate, where she brings her skills as a social science researcher and her passion for working with and for marginalized and underrepresented communities, at the Kapor Center. She has nearly a decade of experience managing projects, developing evaluation and research methodology and building nonprofit technology capacity with socially progressive organizations in the Bay Area, Europe and Southern Africa.
Host: Melinda Briana Epler
Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs.
As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world. She co-leads a series of global solutions-focused conferences called Tech Inclusion, where she has partnered with over 450 tech companies and community organizations and hosted 43 solutions-focused diversity and inclusion events around the world.
Previously, Melinda was a Marketing and Culture Executive and award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.
Melinda is a TED speaker. She speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, allyship, social entrepreneurship, underrepresented entrepreneurs and investing. She has spoken on hundreds of stages around the world, including SXSW, Grace Hopper, Wisdom 2.0, the World Bank, Obama White House, Clinton Foundation, Black Enterprise, Google, Indeed, Capital One and McKinsey.
Watch Melinda’s TED Talk
Change Catalyst Co-Founder Melinda Briana Epler has spoken across the globe in hundreds of venues and virtual events. Empathy, Allyship, Advocacy, Microaggressions, Inclusive Leadership, and Building Inclusive Teams are just some of the topics Melinda has spoken on. Let us know about your next speaking engagement needs! Melinda has also spoken on how to build organizational capacity to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as how to lead behavior change or how to build allies and advocates.
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