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SCS DEI Update

Feb. 3, 2022

What We're Doing

In spring 2022, SCS will host the DEI(B) Seminar Series: a series on (D) diversity, (E) equity, (I) inclusion and (B) belonging related to the fields of computer science and technology.

What is the DEI(B) Series?

This seminar series will seek to inform, inspire and encourage discussion among SCS members about diversity, equity and inclusion in general, and about DEI(B) specifically at SCS. The seminar series will be open to all members of the SCS, CMU and wider communities. Seminar speakers will be intentionally chosen as a mix of local and nationally recognized experts to inspire reflection, promote conversation, expose new approaches and create opportunities for collaboration. These experts can be drawn from across CMU, SCS, academia and industry.

We Want Your Input!

We would like this seminar series to be engaging, informative and valuable to the SCS community. We'd love to hear your ideas and speaker suggestions in this form by Saturday, Feb.19.

The DEI team is planning the OurCS conference, which will be held Oct. 21–23, 2022. We are currently calling for faculty, students and community members who might be interested in giving a talk, leading a project, serving on a panel or facilitating a social activity. We are also looking for sponsors to help fund this important cultural event. If you are interested, send us an email at

The DEI team is also planning to reinstate the CS Roadshow, an interactive presentation delivered by SCS students to inform and engage K-12 students, teachers and parents about computer science. This year, we hope to generate additional content for community outreach, as we have had a lot of requests to share the many things going on in SCS. If you are interested, send us an email at We are also planning a brainstorming meeting within the next month.


Want to build a powerful network of technologists, meet inspiring tech industry leaders and learn from professional workshops? Harvard WECode’s virtual undergraduate conference on Saturday, Feb. 19, will cultivate the next generation of technical leaders, foster a community among students passionate about tech, and promote inclusivity for young women and nonbinary technologists excited to make a change in the world. This year’s conference will be virtual. Learn more at the conference website or apply for a scholarship to attend.

The SoNIC Summer Research Workshop is a Cornell program designed to increase the number of underrepresented students pursuing and achieving a doctoral degree in computer science. This year, SoNIC will be held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, from Monday, June 27, through Friday, July 1. Travel, meals and lodging expenses associated with participation in the program are provided by Cornell. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their questions to the Cornell Bowers CIS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team at

Faculty Funding Opportunity: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are partnering with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to administer a new funding opportunity that aims to recognize and further the leadership and scientific accomplishments of excellent biomedical researchers who — through their outreach, mentoring and teaching — have a record of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in their scientific fields. The Science Diversity Leadership (SDL) program will support projects led by outstanding early- to mid-career faculty at U.S. universities, medical schools and nonprofit research institutes who advance research and act as mentors, sponsors and role models for underrepresented groups in biomedical and related sciences. Each grant recipient will be awarded a total of $1.15 million over five years, with the first two cohorts of grantees selected in 2022 and 2023. The SDL program will accept applications through 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 19. For more information and application instructions, visit the SDL program website.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is hosting a virtual symposium from 12 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, that will highlight the findings and recommendations of the committee-authored consensus study report "Transforming Trajectories for Women of Color in Tech." This report uses current research and information obtained through public information-gathering workshops to provide recommendations within the tech ecosystem for increasing recruitment, retention and advancement of women of color. The symposium will also serve as an opportunity for key stakeholders to come together to identify opportunities for collective action. Register to attend for free. Contact Ashley Bear if you are interested in attending a private session focused on exploring the development of an Action Collaborative guided by the information put forth in this report.

February Is Black History Month

Take some time to immerse yourself in a lecture, story, poem or community dialogue!

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, there will be a Stories Like Me Pop-Up at Bakery Square for Black History Month. Bring your little ones and stop by the Conservatory for a pop-up bookshop with Stories Like Me. This month, they will explore a collection with an emphasis on Black and African American authors, illustrators and protagonists. Stories Like Me is an independent, women-owned bookstore that focuses on intentionally collecting stories that reflect all young people and families.

You can also read 34 Powerful Black History Month Poems for Kids of All Ages.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keynote Lecture: Soledad O’Brien
At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, broadcast journalist, producer and philanthropist Soledad O’Brien will focus on disrupting and dismantling systemic racism by sharing voices and perspectives that often go unheard. She will bring powerful, real-world insights from selected U.S. cities where efforts are underway to reform policing, incarceration, education, land ownership and more. Register.

Bridging the Gap — Turning Allyship Into Activism: Brandi Fisher
At 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, Brandi Fisher, founder of the Alliance for Police Accountability, will address how one can hold themselves and others accountable to serve as an intentional ally. The goal of this 90-minute program is to support a progressive understanding of accountable activism in support of those minoritized based on race and ethnicity. Register.

When Spirits Align — Black Bartenders & How They Shaped an Industry: Cecil B. Usher
At 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 11, join a 90-minute interactive tutorial that offers participants an opportunity to explore the rich, hidden history of mixology. Mixologist Cecil B. Usher will direct participants through cocktail and mocktail making while learning about the contributions Black Americans have made to the industry. Register.

Khuraki: A Celebration of Afghanistan in Pittsburgh
At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb.15, join a hybrid interactive theater experience to benefit Afghan women in a new food service venture. It is free and open to the public. Masks are required. In person at Giant Eagle Auditorium, Rangos Ballroom, Cohon University Center or online. Register.

There will also be a panel discussion for Khuraki at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, in Giant Eagle Auditorium. This discussion will focus on Afghan resettlement in the Pittsburgh area. The panel features: Ivonne Smith-Tapia, the director of Refugee and Immigrant Services at Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh; Sohrab Bakhshi, contractor for the U.S. military and former Afghan refugee who personally experienced the transition, brought to the U.S. under a Special Immigrant Visa; and historian Emanuela Grama, associate professor and director of Global Studies at CMU, who will discuss dislocation and its related side effects. The panel is free and open to the public. Masks are required. Register.

Thank you,
The DEI Team