Felicia Smith, Nicole Coleman, Gabriela Basel, and Akosua Kissi: "Introducing the 'Know Systemic Racism' Project"

Tue April 12th 2022, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Hybrid event: in-person at CESTA and via Zoom.
Register for Zoom attendance here.
Felicia Smith, Nicole Coleman, Gabriela Basel, and Akosua Kissi: "Introducing the 'Know Systemic Racism' Project"

Note: this seminar will be a hybrid event. We are looking forward to welcoming you back into our space! A box lunch will be available to in-person attendees for takeaway. Zoom attendees can register using the link above.

About this talk: How can we reveal systemic racism through data? The goal of the Stanford Libraries’ Know Systemic Racism project is to present factual data about interconnected systems that have been shaped by racist policies and practices of institutions across decades, with a focus on systems that threaten and perpetuate violence against people of African descent in California. One of the greatest challenges to making systemic racism visible through data is that archival records and data are structured, preserved, and presented according to systems that reflect institutional information management perpetuating white supremacy. The Know Systemic Racism data team is pursuing three approaches to help liberate data by using a knowledge graph to connect people, policing, legislation, housing discrimination, neighborhood conditions, and segregation to track racist policies and practices in California from the founding of the state in 1850 through to the present day.
•    Identifying racist language within bills, legislation, and policies to make those datasets searchable
•    Enriching knowledge bases, like Wikidata, with data about the lives lost in police encounters in California, and visualizing that data to make it accessible
•    Building integrated map visualizations as means of browsing existing but siloed datasets
The data and medata resulting from this work will be linked in a graph database to show the invisible connections between de jure segregation (local laws that mandated segregation) and de facto segregation (segregation that existed because of covert discrimination).

About the speakers:

Felicia A. Smith, MLIS, is the Inaugural Racial Justice and Social Equity Librarian at Stanford Libraries. Felicia’s primary focus is on launching Stanford Libraries’ Systemic Racism Tracker (SRT). She is responsible for outreach to faculty and students interested in issues of race, ethnicity, and social equity across all departments, schools as well as the Equity, Community, Leadership (ECL) centers. Felicia believes that as an African American librarian, she is charged with the awesome responsibility of being a keeper of the light and protector of our shared memories. Felicia believes that before we as a society can “Know Justice” we must interrogate the injustices and right the wrongs of society, and only then will we “Know Peace.”

Nicole Coleman is Digital Research Architect for the Stanford University Libraries and Research Director for Humanities+Design, a research lab at the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis. Nicole works at the intersection of the digital library and digital scholarship as a lead architect in the design and development of practical research services. She is currently leading an initiative within the Library to identify and enact applications of artificial intelligence —machine perception, machine learning, machine reasoning, and language recognition— to make the collections of maps, photographs, manuscripts, data sets and other assets more easily discoverable, accessible, and analyzable.

Gabriela Basel is a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering department at Stanford University. She is in the middle of a year off from her PhD, working as an intern on the Stanford Libraries’ Know Systemic Racism project and assisting in Santa Clara County-level initiatives to improve county accountability of Stanford University and establish community-based public safety initiatives at Stanford and the county. She hopes to bring what she learns from these experiences to her chemical engineering research to improve ethical community engagement within engineering infrastructure initiatives.

Mahogany Brown is an undergraduate student in Economics at Stanford and Vice President of Communications for the FLIPOC Resources and Workforce Development (FRWD) Collective at Stanford. As an intern at Stanford Libraries working on the Know Systemic Racism, Mahogany has been analyzing California state laws and proposed legislation to prepare a dataset for the Jim Crow California: Anti-Black Laws Matter project.

Akosua Kissi is a 3rd year undergraduate student in the Political Science and Psychology departments at Stanford University. She is interested in understanding how anti-Black racism structurally affects U.S institutions resulting in her internship at the Stanford Libraries’ Know Systemic Racism project. Akosua also holds leadership positions in Stanford Women in Business and the FLIPOC Resources and Workforce Development (FRWD) Collective to help students of color get access to professional opportunities within the undergraduate community.

Favour Nerrise is an electrical engineering Ph.D. student at Stanford University, currently researching tools, models and methodologies that can help medical professionals better understand how the brain functions. She also has risen from NSBE local chapter president to her current role as National Chairperson as she leads its effort to increase diversity in the engineering field.