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#SXSW 2014 PanelPicker is open and I’m voting for Broader STEM Engagement

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Source We Are Bit

Yes, it’s that time of year again: PanelPicker for South By South West.  As always, the lineup for the Interactive events are crowdsourced. Some great social media mavens put some hard work into creating some awesome proposals, now they need your help to ring them to the main stage.  In the 2013, the SXSW Interactive Festival included a special line up of programs about engaging diverse communities: We are BIT (Blacks in Technology). BIT programming focuses on the experience of digital designers, developers, entrepreneurs, trend-setters and visionaries from the black community. The community has continued to stay engaged and they are cross-promoting several proposed interactive and educational sessions.

I am on board and you’re invited. What you should do, in this order is the following:

1. Sign up for SXSW Panel Picker.

An email and password is all you need to start voting for any SXSW panels. Be sure to confirm your registration.

2. Vote these amazing Proposed Panels.

Health Communication

Harnessing Social Influence to Improve Health
This panel is an extension of many conversations about media diversity and broadening participation of science news to wider audiences that I and others have been having online for the last year. In fact,  @TheDarkSci‘s @ReynaLJones & @HeyDrWilson are listed as presenters. This great proposal that needs your vote!

Hashtag Intervention: Why #BlackGirlsRun
Black Girls RUN! set out to shift the conversation – about obesity, health, and exercise and they became a movement. What we’ve witnessed in 4 years is arguably the most successful healthy-living initiatives social media campaign ever.

STEM education

New Technologies Revolutionize STEM Education
How kids learn and experience science matters. New technologies play a role in how, if, and when students connect to science. This panel will discuss ways it is working to engage girls and youth from under-represented groups.

Tech Outreach, Inclusion, and Diversity

The Real Reason Why There are Few Blacks in Tech
The summary is short and to the point. Realness will be delivered (I expect no less from @KathyrynFinney) and some oft undiscussed socioeconomic issues will be examined as to why the creation digital divide still persists.

Digital Divide or Sinkhole? Tech Famines in the US
And speaking of socioeconomic and cultural barriers to true tech and innovation parity, this panel sounds powerful! It will dive deep into the paradox of access and tech adoption and use among poor (typically urban) populations. This one sounds like pure gold.

Why Startups Need Diversity of Thought: Innovation
The panel includes Kimberly Bryant of @BlackGirlsCode. Black Girls Code has been burning up the headlines and making some serious impact, teaching young girls how to code and introducing them to pathway to science, tech and engineering.

Coding for Diversity
All about how grassroots efforts to can turn into full-fledged national fires – but this is all about bringing new and under-represented audiences to tech via coding.

Not Enough of Us — We Are Not Black Twitter
This panel will explore the diversity of creativity and use of social media among those now curiously observed as the trendsetters of Twitter (and social media) — Black people.  This panel sounds very interested. I’d like to see this one.

Building The Bridge To Equality With Allies
This powerful proposal will guide folks through the confusing and impotent feeling of “not knowing what to do” when it comes to becoming effective allies. Organized by Adria Richards. (So glad to see her back in the game.)

And over a dozen other Panels co-tagged as Bit (Blacks in Technology).

List of panels listed here.

4. Vote today. PanelPicker closes September 6, 2013.

5. Run tell that!

Yes, let everyone you know in your social media networks know that you have voted and encourage them to vote as well.

DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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