Feds shell out taxpayer dollars on gender and race workshops

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A government organization, the National Science Foundation has given $99,078 in grants to bring together “thought leaders” to discuss how to get more African-American women into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Through workshops run by Howard University, the aim is to “explore the intersectional experiences (race and gender) of black women” in computer sciences and “formulate strategies and a plan of action to address the lack of awareness and action around this intersectionality.”

A grant for the workshops states, “Achieving gender equity in computing is one of the more pressing challenges in the broadening participation effort because of the precipitous decline in the proportion of women earning degrees in computing over the last 20 years.”

The grant believes that “intersectionality” and broadening participation in STEM and computing is a national issue.

“Black women, as a group, face acute underrepresentation in computing. Their challenges rest at the intersection of race and gender in the larger broadening participation effort,” the grant states. “This workshop will bring together thought leaders to share experiences in an effort to understand the issues faced by black women in computing.”

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Two intersectionality workshop grants have been awarded. The first grant of $49,228 was awarded in January 2016. A second grant of $49,850 was awarded in Fall 2016.

The first workshop explored “An Inclusive Agenda for Computing,” focusing on “shared learning experiences” in computer departments for black women who do not typically enroll in computer science programs.

According to the agenda, “It is important to unpack the differences that distinguish black women’s experiences from other groups so that we might better support—and, by extension, increase the participation of—this unique group.”

The agenda acknowledged the National Science Foundation for its funding, but said that “any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the materials created for this convening are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views” of the government.

H/T: Free Beacon

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