Dawn Wages

Podcast Description

“Decolonizing is the process of dissecting and removing colonialism. Most theories surrounding decolonization is based on decolonizing the colonized but the colonized can’t and shouldn’t cut themselves off and only decolonize themselves. The colonizer must also remove the dominant-subordinate relationship. In short, and this is all in bold…All spaces must be actively anti-racist.”

Dawn Wages is a queer woman of color, former project manager turned JavaScript and Python software engineer, WagtailCMS core team member and proud member of the Django community. She lives in Philadelphia, USA with her dog, Thelonious, and spends her time consulting with the Two Rock Software team, her company Rugby Street Consulting, and jumping on tech for social good projects.

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Dawn Wages

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Kurt Kemple

Podcast Description

A perfect example of this is like a white woman calling the cops on Black men. It is like a fucking prime example of…and at that point maybe they do know they have privilege. But either way they know that they can manipulate the system to get a desired outcome and it is based on what?…The person’s race. Right? Like so, you’re not putting the words to it. Maybe you don’t want to, but I mean at this day and age like how can you not hear the word privilege? Like we’re in 2021, but still…Even if…even if you are completely, in fact, ignorant to privilege you are still aware that you’re manipulating a system.

Kurt Kemple is a technical writer, speaker, and software developer living in Virginia Beach, VA. He’s very passionate about the intersection of technology and incarceration and co-host of Fullstack Health, a podcast about the intersection of technology and health. Currently, he works for Apollo Graph Inc, as a Developer Relations Manager. When not working he can be found by the ocean or relaxing with his family

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Wesley Faulkner

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It’s the hard conversations. Like a lot of people are still trying to find a way around not having these hard conversations, come to these real truths about how their approaching business and the
structure and the system that we all live in. And if Google doesn’t have the power to go against the system in terms of what they see people as and how they treat people it makes it so much harder for all these other companies. Because now they can just point to the big behemoth in the room is saying: “They’re profitable. They’re making money hand-over-fist” why…why…”If they don’t need to do it, why should we do it?” Umm, I think time and time again we talk about when you invest in people color you invest in people who are under-represented that the money is 10 times. 3 times, 1 and a half times more in terms of an investment than traditional let’s say funding streams. But people are putting their money where their mouths are. In terms of even using data, a data-driven company like Google saying that we need to invest here not just because it’s the right thing to do for humanity. I mean, yes… But it’s this is actually…it’s a good investment. This is going to help sustain us as a company.

Wesley Faulkner is a first-generation American. He is a founding member of the government transparency group Open Austin and ran for Austin City Council in 2016. His professional experience also includes work as a social media and community manager for the software company Atlassian, and various roles for the computer processor company AMD, Dell, and IBM. Wesley Faulkner serves as a board member for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) and is a Developer Advocate for Daily.

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Wesley Faulkner

Become a #causeascene Podcast sponsor because disruption and innovation are products of individuals who take bold steps in order to shift the collective and challenge the status quo.

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Dr. Ebun Joseph

Podcast Description

Black people in Ireland are like super educated. Because we just believe, okay…the only way to pull yourself, so you know, out of this is by education. So we, it’s the default we over educate. And so at the end of the day we’re overqualified and underemployed. That is the…thing that is happening. So you ask me why do we have to cause a scene? Because there’s nobody…we are not on anybody’s radar. We are not on anybody’s agenda.

Dr Ebun Joseph is a Race relations consultant, Director Institute of Antiracism and Black Studies and Chairperson, African Scholars Association Ireland (AFSAI). Dr Joseph holds the position of Career Development Consultant at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Teaching Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. Ebun is an author, TV panellist, Columnist, equality activist and convenor of various webinars on Anti-Racism. With a research focus on Labour markets and race relations, she has presented at several conferences, businesses and non-profits. Ebun is published and contributes regular responses on contemporary issues of racism in Ireland. Her recent book is titled, Racial stratification in Ireland: A Critical race theory of labour market inequality with Manchester University press. She also co-authored the book, Challenging Perceptions of Africa in Schools: Critical Approaches to Global Justice Education with Routledge in Jan 2020.

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Alphabet Workers Union

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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

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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

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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

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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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Ayodele Odubela

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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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