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Diversity and inclusion

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WBUR

Erin Genia ‘19 a multidisciplinary artist, has been honored as one of The ARTery 25, which highlights artists of color in the Greater Boston area who stand out for the work they are making, reports WBUR. “Genia, a tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of South Dakota, sees her artistic mission as one of many efforts to make up for the centuries of assimilation and cultural repression.”

Good Morning America

Graduate student Joy Buolamwini speaks with Good Morning America about her work uncovering bias in AI systems and how beauty data can marginalize people of color. “We can’t have social justice without algorithmic justice,” says Buolamwini.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Greg Toppo spotlights alumna Laila Shabir ‘10, founder of Girls Make Games, a series of summer camps, workshops and game jams aimed at bringing together and empowering young women interested in video games. “The camp not only promotes a message of empowerment for girls, but one that encourages them to think differently about games,” writes Toppo. “Shabir urges campers to ‘think big’ about games and get to the essence of the games they love and why they love them.”

Fast Company

Prof. Dava Newman, director of the MIT Media Lab, speaks with Mark Wilson of Fast Company about her vision for the future of the Media Lab. “We’re going to be a diverse and equitable place, we have to have everyone at the table,” says Newman. “We do have these special talents. We can see solutions in envisioning things that are further out. We are built on literal media and data, so we don’t shy away from any technical challenges.”

Stat

Isabella Cueto, a Cuban American journalist who has worked as a newspaper and radio reporter in Florida, South Carolina, and California, has been named the first recipient of the Sharon Begley-STAT Science Reporting Fellowship, reports STAT. “Named in honor of Begley, an award-winning science writer for STAT who died in January from complications of lung cancer, the fellowship combines a paid reporting position at STAT with an educational component provided through the prestigious Knight Science Journalism program.”

The Guardian

Alumna Emily Calandrelli S.M. ’13 speaks with Guardian reporter Kieran Yates about the need for more diversity in the space sector. Calandrelli notes that the push for greater diversity and inclusion will lead to new ideas and innovations, saying: “I can’t remember feeling as excited about the future of the industry as right now.”

Chronicle of Higher Education

Chris Jones PhD ’16, S.M. ’03, former assistant dean for graduate education at MIT, speaks with Oyin Adedoyin of The Chronicle of Higher Education about his inspiration for running for governor in Arkansas, his time as a student at MIT and his work as part of a team that doubled minority enrollment for MIT’s graduate programs.

Forbes

Graduate student John Urschel speaks with Forbes contributor Talia Milgrom-Elcott about how his mother helped inspire his love of mathematics and the importance of representation. “It’s very hard to dream of being in a career if you can’t relate to anyone who’s actually in that field,” says Urschel. “One of my main goals in life as a mathematician is to increase representation of African American mathematicians.”

University Times

Alyce Johnson, senior adviser to the Vice President for HR on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MIT, speaks with Emer Moreau of University Times about MIT making Juneteenth a holiday. “For me, as an African American woman, seeing an organization that I’ve been with for 30 years, really shifting and growing and becoming much more inclusive – I’m very excited about [that],” says Johnson. “I do hope that it will spread along.”

Fast Company

Quinnton Harris ’11 speaks with Fast Company reporter Elizabeth Segran about the campaign to make Juneteenth a paid holiday. “There are so many times in my life that I haven’t felt American, whether that’s in the workplace or in white spaces,” Harris says. “When I learned that Juneteenth was a celebration of Black liberation, it felt so right.”

WBUR

Chase Anderson SB ’11, SM ’13 writes for WBUR’s Cognoscenti about how the friends he made during his studies at MIT showed him the meaning of friendship and support. “These friends validated my identity and helped me unshackle the self I’d been hiding, or had been forced to hide,” Anderson writes. “They taught me that being African-American and gay were beautiful aspects of my entire self, and that I was so much more than I ever dreamed possible.”

Wired

In an article for Wired, Prof. Amy Moran-Thomas writes about racial bias in pulse oximeters, noting that oximeters designed to work equitably existed in the 70s. “As part of AI’s growing role in health care, a wide range of noninvasive sensors are being developed with the pulse oximeter as their model,” writes Moran-Thomas. “Without care, a coming generation of optical color sensors could easily reproduce the unequal errors for which pulse oximetry is now known across many other areas of medicine.”

Dezeen

Hashim Sarkis, dean of SA+P and curator of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale, speaks with Cajsa Carlson of Dezeen about how the field of architecture is transforming due to climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and efforts to increase diversity and representation. "Talent and imagination are not restricted to advanced development economically,” says Sarkis. “I hope this message comes across in this biennale.”

Commonwealth

In an article for Commonwealth, Prof. Michael Cima and Prof. Fiona Murray spotlight the importance of invention and innovation, noting that “there is an immediate need for actions that will further the nation’s growth in productivity and inclusive prosperity, a measure of the extent to which all sectors of our population are empowered to contribute to the economy and share in its benefits.” Cima and Murray write that: “The power of inclusion is illustrated by the backgrounds and inspirations of the winners of the Lemelson-MIT Prize over 25 years.”

Science

In an editorial for Science, Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins and President Emerita Susan Hockfield underscore the importance of addressing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in tech transfer. “The discoveries women and minority researchers are making today have great potential as a force for good in the world,” they write, “but reaching that potential is only possible if paths to real-world applications are open to everybody.”