To the SIGCSE Community:
The SIGCSE TS 2021 leadership team wants to express support for the movement in the United States and around the world decrying racial inequity. The protests and conversations calling for reform reinforce the need for dramatic change in society.
We also want to acknowledge the conversation within our own SIGCSE community regarding underrepresented minorities in our computing classrooms and in our profession. The injustices students and faculty face from implicit bias and stereotype threat emphasize that we as educators need to do more to recognize these biases and fight against them as best we can.
We hear the call for justice and recognize that the Technical Symposium has an important role in this regard in our community. For several years now, the various symposium and program chairs have continued a tradition of inviting a diverse set of keynote speakers. Most recently for SIGCSE TS 2020, the chairs created the Affinity Group lunch series, in which members from and allies of marginalized groups in computing (African-American, Latinx, LGBTQ, Women, etc.) were to gather within the safe space of their own affinity groups and provide feedback to the Technical Symposium leadership and members of the SIGCSE board on issues important to their communities. These efforts were obviously upended when the symposium was cancelled, but the 2021 team wants to continue and improve on this work next year. We sincerely want the community’s aid in helping the Technical Symposium to be more inclusive.
The theme that the chairs have chosen for SIGCSE TS 2021 is “Expanding Opportunities.” In light of current events, it seems that our call for finding ways to expand computing education to all has found even more meaning - one that we hope you will consider when submitting to the Symposium. The chairs are working on more ways to showcase work in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout the 2021 program.
Mark Sherriff and Larry Merkle
SIGCSE TS 2021 Symposium Co-Chairs
Pam Cutter, Alvaro Monge, and Judy Sheard
SIGCSE TS 2021 Program Co-Chairs