Alphabet Workers Union

Podcast Description

People come to the union for all sorts of reasons. You’re hearing my story here, but a union is like live body of lots of people coming for different reasons so here’s a couple things like: first of all, some of us might be paid really well, but at the same time we still don’t have a say. We don’t have a voice and how the company works. I came to this work because I don’t want my work to go for warfare. I don’t want to…to be paid well if it’s at the cost of other people’s suffering. The second thing is that it’s not an equal system. It’s not a utopia, right? ‘Cuz people who don’t have safety in this workplace…we see with the women’s walk out two years ago, right? Google won’t address sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination seriously unless there’s a big power imbalance. and then the last thing I’ll say is that when it comes to building working-class power, the reason we need this union…ya know, people at Google might have it nice, but…We at Google set the standard for the rest of the the tech industry right? What we do over here matters because when we raise the bar at Google, we raise the bar for everybody.

The union strives to protect Alphabet workers, our global society, and our world. We recognize our power as Alphabet workers—full-time employees, temporary employees, vendors, and contractors—comes from our solidarity with one another and our ability to collectively act to ensure that our workplace is equitable and Alphabet acts ethically.

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Dr. Joy Cox

Podcast Description

You know, it’s nothing like the doctor sitting and telling you that like you’re not sick yet, but you will be. “Oh yeah, yeah…it’s not bothering you now, but it will bother you later.” How you gonna tell somebody something like that? You’re pronouncing me dead 5 years down the line before you, you know before you’re seeing stuff…and having doctors read my chart and read, you know, when the blood work comes back? I’ve had doctors look sad and disappointed that they’re not able to diagnose me with diabetes. “…mmm, oh, well we got your numbers back, but umm…yeah, you didn’t you didn’t test positive…” “you know, yeah you’re right you did test negative for diabetes and um…” I’m like “What you said for?” Ya know, I thought this is what doctors wanted.

Dr. Joy Cox is a body justice advocate, researcher, and leader who addresses the intersections of race, body size, accessibility, and “health.” She holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers University, is the host of the pro-fat, pro-Black podcast Fresh Out the Cocoon, and has been featured in articles by the Huffington
Post and SELF magazine. Additionally, Dr. Cox serves on the Advisory Board for the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) and is the cofounder of Jabbie, a body inclusive, identity affirming fitness app.

Her new book, Fat Girls in Black Bodies: Creating Communities of Our Own, contends with the systemically harmful treatment of fat Black girls and womxn and the methods through which belonging, resistance, and acceptance can be cultivated.

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Abeba Birhane

Podcast Description

Within these social spheres, when you try, when you create algorithmic systems to predict social outcomes are you not only making a scientifically dubious claim because that’s impossible? But also you are doing something that’s ethically a red flag that harms people that harms minoritized communities.

Abeba Birhane is currently a Ph.D. candidate in cognitive science at University College Dublin in the School of Computer Science. She studies the dynamic and reciprocal relationships between emerging technologies, personhood, and society. Specifically, she explores how ubiquitous technologies which are interwoven into our personal, social, political, and economical sphere are shaping what it means to be a person. In doing so, she leans on theoretical frameworks from traditions such as embodied cognitive science, dialogism, complexity science, critical data studies, and philosophy of technology.

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Cathy O’Neil

Podcast Description

My argument in my Shame book is that it’s like a sort of fortress…of denial that white people have like surrounded themselves with because they are living in cognitive dissonance. And that’s what shame does. Shame when it’s real and it and it hits. It hurts so badly that you’re like how can I square this with being a good person…And you have a choice at that moment, and like some white people have been like, “Oh, let’s march against police brutality.” And some white people are like, “Let’s just pretend that it’s not happening.”

Cathy O’Neil earned a Ph.D. in math from Harvard, was a postdoc at the MIT math department, and a professor at Barnard College where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry. She then switched over to the private sector, working as a quant for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She left finance in 2011 and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks. She wrote Doing Data Science in 2013 and launched the Lede Program in Data Journalism at Columbia in 2014. She is a regular contributor to Bloomberg View and wrote the book Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. She recently founded ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.

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Cathy O’Neil

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Ayodele Odubela

Podcast Description

It’s funny because the title of my upcoming book is called Uncovering Bias in ML and I feel like it’s…it’s not that it doesn’t go deep. I feel like that’s the first layer, right? Yes, it talks about discovering that this bias is here. But I’m like: I make it clear from the first chapter…Yeah I’m not hear about…here just to tell you this exists. I’m here to tell you that it is your responsibility and job to change it. Or you are continuing to reinforce the status quo. You’re complicit in the white supremacy. You’re complicit in the racism, the homophobia. Every aspect of that you are complicit in actively reinforcing if you do NOT take these steps. And I think that’s the thing. People are like: “Ethics is like, oh, it’s just a couple steps at the end”. I’m like…we have to destroy the entire workflow every company is using to build AI products, or it’s not gonna change. I’m not gonna keep putting a band aid on it. I’m not gonna keep talking about band aids.

Ayodele Odubela is a Data Scientist working on driver risk mitigation at SambaSafety in Denver, CO. She earned her Master’s degree in Data Science after transitioning to tech from social media marketing. She’s created algorithms that predict consumer segment movement, goals in hockey, and the location of firearms using radio frequency sensors. Ayodele is passionate about using tech to improve the lives of marginalized people.

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Dr. Sherita Golden

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Ya know, we all have an Esther moment. And you know, if you think about, remember the story of Esther in the Bible like she found out that there was a plot to kill…annihilate all the Jewish people. And her husband Mordecai came to her and said, you know Esther, you know there’s this plot and don’t think that because you’re the queen that you’re gonna be spared. They’re going to kill us. And so, unless you go in there and talk the king and let him know this is happening, you know, we’re all going to die. And he said who knows perhaps you’ve come to the kingdom for such a time as this. And she knew that it was risky to go into the king uninvited and make a request, but she did. She said if I perish, let me perish. Because she knew she had to go and try to at least save her people and I think we all have an Esther moment at some point in our life where either we can sit in silence or we have to step up and be ready to step forward and answer that call. So that that sort of what happened to me in 2015.

Dr. Sherita Hill Golden is the Hugh P. McCormick Family Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Johns Hopkins Medicine.  She holds joint appointments in the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.  The author of more than 190 articles, Dr. Golden’s research interests focus mental health complications of diabetes, understanding and eliminating diabetes health disparities and implementing and evaluating systems interventions to improve patient safety and quality of care in hospitalized patients with diabetes.  In the community Dr. Golden is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Co-Directs the Health Ministry with her husband, Dr. Christopher Golden, at Clearview Baptist Church in Woodlawn, MD. She is the proud mother of Andrew Golden, a Journalism and African-American Studies major at Northwestern University.

She serves as the Principal Investigator of the Johns Hopkins site of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcome Study and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.  In 2017 she was the co-recipient of the Walter Reed Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Medical Alumni Association, and Medical School Foundation, which recognizes professional accomplishment, outstanding innovation, and exemplary leadership in the field of Medicine. In 2018 Dr. Golden was named a winner of the 17th Annual Women Worth Watching Awards from the Profiles in Diversity Journal. She was one of 132 winners from across the globe recognized as an executive leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace and the world. Dr. Golden is also the recipient of the 2019 University of Virginia Distinguished Alumna Award. She is a member of the American Diabetes Association National Board of Directors. In the community Dr. Golden is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Co-Directs the Health Ministry with her husband, Dr. Christopher Golden, at Clearview Baptist Church in Woodlawn, MD. She is the proud mother of Andrew Golden, a Journalism and African-American Studies major at Northwestern University.

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Dr. Sherita Golden

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Ayani Good [Rebroadcast]

Podcast Description

[I wanted to rebroadcast this episode before the 2020 U.S. Presidential election because of the racist comments from Jared Kushner “that Black Americans have to want to be successful” because there are many who believe this narrative. This interview documents the personal story of someone with the lived experiences of how the systems, institutions, and policies rooted in white supremacy are designed to elevate whiteness while promoting anti-Blackness. Because knowledge is power and ignorance is no longer an excuse for causing harm.]

“People just need to stop being afraid of repercussions when they speak up. You’re gonna get repercussions when you don’t speak up.”

Ayani Good, is a retired IL attorney, high school administrator, and university-level educator (Chicago, IL and Sewanee, TN). Her legal practice was concentrated in the area of nonprofit corporation law. She is an active board member of organizations in Chicago, IL and Durban, South Africa. Ayani has over 20 years of training and development experience, curriculum development, program management and evaluation and grants writing.

She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority,Inc. and is an advocate of social justice and human rights issues

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Ayani Good

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Lizz Westman

Podcast Description

‘I must have been really young cuz I remember…I have a freaky memory, like I was a creepy little white kid, umm, I was so creepy. I tried to sabotage my parents moving to the suburbs for two years and I would and I would like put little like cards that were like just like: “Don’t…don’t buy this house” and I would like…this is like peak Children of the Corn era and I had bright white hair and I would literally look at them with my big ass blue eyes be like:\N”I come with the house.”

Lizz Westman is an IT design and production strategy consultant based in Portland, Oregon, and has two decades of experience working on The Information SuperhighwayTM. She has helped shape how online content and digital media interacts with its users – for better and for worse – since the very early web 1.0 days and always with the intent to make room for others. A former journalist and satirist, her voice and work have been featured on CBS News, ABC, Comedy Central, G4, IFC, and was openly mocked by South Park twice. Lizz went full nerd about a decade ago in part because her attempts to make room for others were not very well received in major entertainment and news venues and now works at making infrastructure, design, content, and production styles less obnoxious, aggravating, and tedious for those involved. And regardless of work titles or places, Lizz spends most of her time drawing together connections in our society and culture, especially at the intersections and points of reference where history, science, and storytelling tend to meet. And as the last elected student chairperson of Grinnell College’s American Studies department, she is adamant about working on dismantling and deconstructing the myriad of racist, self-serving, and overtly harmful myths, half-truths, and blatant lies that weave the tattered fabric of this farce of a democracy has been built upon. Lizz is vehemently pro-metric and would love to dismantle even more of her own house in a further attempt to decolonize more and more of the shared and sacred spaces she is honored to be a part of – even as or if she is pointing out the flaws and needs for improvement immediately.

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Lizz Westman

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Minda Harts

Podcast Description

“When I was growing up, my white friends would say: if I was around during slavery I never would have…I would have taken you and all that stuff and it’s like, okay. Well this is this is a version of it right now, you know, so what are you going to do it when it counts, you know, it’s obvious we’re not enslaved in that way. But every generation has a uprising moment like you either get to be courageous or you get to be cautious and which one is it going to be?”

Minda Harts is the CEO of The Memo LLC, a career development platform for women of color. She is the best-selling author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need To Know To Secure A Seat At The Table. Minda is an Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner. She has been featured on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ​Fast​ ​Company​, The Guardian​, and Time Magazine. Minda frequently speaks at companies like Microsoft, Levi’s, Google, and Bloomberg on topics such as Leadership, Managing Diverse Teams and Self-Advocacy. She also hosts a weekly podcast called Secure The Seat.

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Minda Harts

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Dr. Oni Blackstock

Podcast Description

“And I really felt so emboldened by what was going on that I asked to speak to [him/former manager] again. And I said, and I spoke to him on the phone and I said: Ya know, I want to be completely honest with you, um while I understand this was not your intention this was the impact of your actions on me. These actions that I listed…it wasn’t even a comprehensive list…all of these actions left me feeling humiliated and demoralized. I could not fully inhabit my role if you were not going to allow whoever it is, ya know, to be in that position to fully inhabit that role like you should have just been straight up from the beginning and said you know, you’re going to come in and do this, but I’m going to be right there with you and you’re not going to get any of the acclaim or any recognition, if someone had told me that from the get-go, I would have known what I was getting into, and probably wouldn’t have gone, um. Just be honest about what the reality is.

Dr. Oni Blackstock is recognized as a thought leader and influencer in the areas of HIV, health equity, and racial justice. She is the founder and Executive Director of Health Justice, a consulting firm providing content expertise in HIV, sexual health, LGBTQ health and racial equity to organizations focused on public health and health care. She is a primary care and HIV doctor and researcher who sees patients at Harlem Hospital. Dr. Blackstock recently served as Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of HIV where she led the City’s response to the HIV epidemic. She received her undergraduate and her medical degrees from Harvard and completed her primary care Internal Medicine residency and ambulatory chief residency Montefiore/Einstein as well as an HIV clinical fellowship at Harlem Hospital. She received a Masters of Health Sciences Research from Yale School of Medicine’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program.

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