A Message from the Computing Research Association
We know that racism:
- Is systemic and institutionalized, was intentionally designed, and established well before the foundation of our nation.
- Continues to oppress people of color around the world – denying basic human rights, denying opportunity, and even more tragically denying many of their very lives.
- Is learned behavior that may be unlearned through education, compassion, empathy, and action.
- Drives a wedge between communities, and in doing so limits the enviable quest for a society steeped in respect.
- The privileged benefit from its existence and must be willing to sacrifice to overcome it.
- Lives in our homes, schools, workplaces, parks, churches, stores, amusement parks, government, law enforcement – it lives in us all to varying degrees.
To stand against it, we:
- Acknowledge the existence of racism within our communities and commit to defeating it.
- Call out and reject rationalization of incidents and distortion of information.
- Educate ourselves and those around us to be better equipped to address racism in its many forms.
- Stand up against the status quo by using our voice and agency.
- Commit to systemic change in laws, policies, procedures, etc.
- Dedicate all necessary resources to create lasting change
A Statement from the Association for Computing Machinery's Diversity and Inclusion Council
In the United States, and throughout many regions around the world, current events have brought attention to the urgent need for equality and respect for all individuals. We have witnessed racism and violence against Black people in the United States and in our communities. Most recently, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have re-focused attention to the long-standing racism and injustice that plagues the United States and many other nations. In response, there are worldwide demonstrations and protests. ACM members are directly impacted by these events and we, the volunteer leadership of ACM, are outraged by this all-too familiar pattern of enduring injustice. Black Lives Matter.
This is a hard problem, and we will continue to make change and actively seek ways to take meaningful action. The Diversity and Inclusion Council’s role is to serve as a convener and focal point for these issues within ACM and to serve as a resource for those seeking to effect positive change; the D&I Council does not set policy. We will continue to listen, to learn, to engage and to explore new ways to actively foster diversity and fight against racism. In the immediate aftermath of these most recent events, we commit to the following actions:
- Perform a systematic and complete review of ACM policies and practices that can be shared and communicated throughout ACM’s activities and programs to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Encourage ACM’s Boards/Councils and Committees to nominate and recruit black and underrepresented members of the community for positions within ACM.
- Recommend ACM fund travel grants to support conference attendance for students and scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.
- Encourage Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to include sessions and activities at conferences and workshops focused on combating implicit bias and other forms of bias, particularly as applicable to technological development and impacts on creating a more inclusive society.
- Encourage SIGs to further diversify conference organizing committees, persons serving in conference leadership roles, and those invited to serve as plenary/keynote speakers, and to report on their progress.
- Recommend expansion of funding for events that focus on amplifying the scholarship of Black and other groups underrepresented in computing and to broaden the participation of aspiring scholars from these communities in computing—undergraduate and graduate students, and junior researchers and faculty.
Dr. Amy McGovern
The University of Oklahoma is leading a National Science Foundation AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography that is being hailed as a “historic milestone in environmental science.”
NSF recently announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish five AI Institutes to support research and education hubs nationwide. Amy McGovern, an OU professor with dual appointments in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering and in the School of Meteorology in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, will lead the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, which received $20 million of the NSF funding.
“Recognizing the critical role of AI, NSF is investing in collaborative research and education hubs, such as the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, anchored at the University of Oklahoma, which will bring together academia, industry and government to unearth profound discoveries and develop new capabilities advancing American competitiveness for decades to come,” said NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan.
More information on the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, & Coastal Oceanography (AI2ES) can be found at https://www.ai2es.org.