Black Women in Tech Featured in New Modern Figures Podcast

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Two non-profits increase visibility for women of color in computing, creating role models for students.

"By sharing the narratives of underrepresented students, faculty, and industry professionals, we hope to inspire the next generation of computing trailblazers," said iAAMCS Principal Investigator Dr. Juan E. Gilbert.

The Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS), a national resource for all African-American computer science students and faculty, launches a new podcast in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit that works to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing. Modern Figures Podcast (http://modernfigurespodcast.com/) guest stars Black women in computing who share their stories and perspectives on technical, societal, and personal topics. Geared toward women of color in STEM, especially high school and college students, the podcast also highlights the interestingly relatable, pivotal moments along their journey in computing.

The first episode (http://modernfigurespodcast.com/episode-001-introducing-modern-figures-podcsst/) debuted on Monday, January 28 -- featuring Co-hosts Drs. Kyla McMullen and Jeremy Waisome, and NCWIT Research Scientist Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder who introduce the podcast and its goals. An additional nine episodes will drop each week, throughout Black History Month and Women’s History Month, featuring Nancy Douyon, Dr. Jamika Burge, Jamie Berger, and other admirable Black women in computing.

“iAAMCS is honored to tell the stories of Black women from across the country who are positively impacting their respective areas of computing. By sharing the narratives of underrepresented students, faculty, and industry professionals, we hope to inspire the next generation of computing trailblazers,” said iAAMCS Principal Investigator Dr. Juan E. Gilbert.

“The interests, strengths, and needs of underrepresented groups in computing are often marginalized. By presenting technical Black women’s experiences, challenges, and successes across powerful media platforms, listeners are provided a ‘safe space’ for girls and women of color to relate and see themselves as innovators,” said NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders.

To listen to the podcast, visit Apple iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify, or Stitcher. Subscribe at http://modernfigurespodcast.com/subscribe-to-podcast/.

Additionally, both iAAMCS and NCWIT will cross-promote the Modern Figures Podcast across their communications channels, alongside @modernfigurespodcast on Facebook and Instagram, and @ModFigsPodcast on Twitter.

About iAAMCS
The Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computing Sciences (iAAMCS, pronounced ‘I am CS’) serves as a national resource for all African-American computer science students in higher education. The goals of iAAMCS include increasing the number of African-Americans receiving Ph.D. degrees in computing sciences, promoting and engaging students in teaching and training opportunities, and adding more diverse researchers into the advanced technology workforce.

iAAMCS utilizes resources from nationally recognized programs and projects, including mentoring strategies from past National Science Foundation Broadening Participation in Computing (BPC) Alliances and Demonstration Projects. By leveraging a national network of faculty, researchers, and industry professionals, iAAMCS provides programming and support for aspiring technology professionals. Find out more at http://www.iaamcs.org.

About NCWIT
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of nearly 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase girls’ and women’s meaningful participation in computing. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at http://www.ncwit.org.

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Adriane Bradberry
NCWIT
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