Digital Blackface: Are you complicit?

 […] “digital blackface” is used to describe various types of minstrel performance that become available in cyberspace. Blackface minstrelsy is a theatrical tradition dating back to the early 19th century, in which performers “blacken” themselves up with costume and behaviors to act as black caricatures. The performances put society’s most racist sensibilities on display and in turn fed them back to audiences to intensify these feelings and disperse them across culture. Lauren Michele Jackson-Teen Vogue For those of us at the forefront of the fight for liberation, the obstacles seem endless. It would appear that every facet of our daily existence …

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The Importance of Intersectionality in Tech

One of the biggest misconceptions about tech is aptly summarized by Hessie Jones, “[Tech is]afforded a supremacy that humans feel comfortable not questioning. And yet, technology isn’t just a neutral tool.” As AI/ML continues to become rapidly enmeshed in our daily lives, so have discussions of ethics, and the lack thereof, in tech. The dangers of the myriad intersectional biases in tech design have made their way from the confines of esoteric spaces into broader mainstream discussions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethics. Although many big tech companies are hiring in-house DEI consultants and broaching the topic of more equitable …

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As a Black Woman, I’m Either Hyper Visible or Utterly Unseen

I was only five years old the first time I mentally code switched and went into another person’s experience. My father was never able to handle the pain caused by the sickle cell anemia I was born with, and it was in the throes of a painful sickle cell crisis that I learned he couldn’t cope with hospitals. Children are very perceptive to their parents’ emotions, and in that moment I could feel his terror and helplessness pulsing within me as if it were my own. During that experience I decided that I had to be strong for the both …

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Racism and The Wellness Industry

2015 brought us #OscarsSoWhite shedding light on the absence of BIPOC voices and representation in the Academy Awards; “an award given for artistic and technical merit in the film industry”. 2018 brought us another hashtag: #WellnessSoWhite.  #WellnessSoWhite began making its way into the discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in health and wellness via popular social media platforms and has resulted in small, albeit marked changes in the United States’ multi-trillion dollar industry. “Wellness is about making healthy lifestyle choices and maintaining one’s wellbeing both physically and mentally. In recent years, more people around the world have begun to recognize …

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Race Norming and Bioethics

“Race-norming”— also called “race correction,” “ethnic adjustment,” and “race adjustment” — refers to the adjustment of medical test results or medical risk assessment algorithms based on a patient’s race, the practice however, can and often does, include additional factors such as age, assigned sex at birth, and pain tolerance. Race-norming is believed to have been integrated into clinical risk assessment tools in 1981. Similar to the “soft-bigotry of low expectations” the practice is predicated on othering BIPOC communities, and most adversely affects Black people. “Race norming” was first used by the Carter Administration and then further implemented and extended by …

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Equal Pay & Caregiving: How Covid19 Further Exacerbates Existing Inequities

International Women’s day is a day in which many celebrate the progress we’re making towards equal pay and fair wages between men and women. Over more than a century, this day has been observed in February on the Julian calendar and March on the Gregorian calendar. What is encoded in the language-as is often the case-is that International Women’s Day is actually only a marker of the progress being made to bridge the wage gap between white men and white women.  Black women currently observe equal pay day in August—August 3rd, this year, and it has yet to become cause …

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Black Excellence and the Low Expectations of White Supremacy

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, corporate America pledged to do better, saying it would diversify its leadership, encourage equity and take concrete actions to root out systemic racism. They revealed that while Black and Hispanic employees are often overrepresented as compared to U.S. census data on the nation’s workforce among the technicians, administrative assistants and laborers who form the backbone of many organizations, they are less likely to be found at the company’s senior levels, or in other professional positions. Why is this when Black women currently hold more post-secondary degrees percentage-wise than White women, Latinas, Asian/Pacific Islanders …

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