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How Can Technology Address Structural Discrimination?

January 21st - New York City - RSVP Now

As 2014 wound to a close, and in the wake of decisions by two grand juries to exonerate white police officers for killing unarmed black men, the United States found itself in the midst of a growing movement protesting structural discrimination and institutional violence against African-Americans. These problems are not new to the US. They extend well beyond issues of police violence, and the public mass demonstrations are not the first or only form of protest addressing these issues.

Over the past several months, social media has continued to play a central role in coordination and expressions of solidarity. People around the world, often groups who share the experience of being targeted by state sanctioned violence and discrimination, expressed solidarity online with the movement.

Hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter #HandsUpDontShoot and #ICantBreathe arose, making Twitter a particularly prominent outlet for expressing anger and outrage. Other hashtags, Facebook pages and websites offered information on how to organize, the rights of protesters, and how to join individual protests or the movement overall.

As technology permeates our daily lives and is used increasingly in policing and protesting, the question arises: How can technology be better leveraged to address structural discrimination and institutional violence?

Please RSVP now to join these two thought leaders for the first Technology Salon of 2015:
  • Tynesha McHarris, Director of Community Leadership at the Brooklyn Community Foundation;
  • Courtney D. Cogburn, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Columbia University and Senior Advisor to the International Center for Advocates against Discrimination
We'll come together to discuss these key questions:
  • How is technology being effectively used to promote social movements? How is it shifting social, cultural and interpersonal aspects of society? How can social media and other technology support organization and rallying?
  • How effective is technology, such as police cameras and mobile apps to report harassment, in helping to reduce discrimination and when might it actually fuel greater discrimination?
  • What technologies and which data would help advocates to better identify, track and address institutional discrimination? How can social media help create empathy across racial and social groups?
  • Is there a role for new technology in addressing some of the root causes of poverty and exclusion identified in the Ferguson Action platform, and in supporting improved housing, employment and other services?
Please RSVP now to join Technology Salon NYC for a lively discussion! Be sure to arrive early to get a good seat, hot coffee, and morning snacks before we start.
Technology and Structural Discrimination in the US
January Technology Salon NYC
Thursday, January 21, 2015
9:00-11:00 am
99 Madison Ave, 15th Floor (map)
New York, NY 10016

About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salonâ„¢ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:
  • technology's impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.
Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people - and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged. 

It's also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!
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