Data-driven technologies impact countless aspects of our personal, political, and economic lives. How this data is sourced and utilized can perpetuate structural injustices or work to dismantle them. In this conversation, Stephanie Dinkins, Surya Mattu, Jasmine E. McNealy, and Tawana Petty will be joined by Srimoyee Mitra to discuss how data justice efforts have worked to undo systemic bias and discrimination and work toward a more inclusive, transparent and just world. From the injustices of algorithmic racism and predictive policing, to the radical governance principles applied in organizing and art, speakers will explore how both individual and collective efforts can lead us toward systems and policies that are more accountable and equitable.
Stephanie Dinkins (b.1964) is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialogue about race, gender, aging and our future histories. Dinkins’ art practice employs emerging technologies, documentary practices and social collaboration toward equity and community sovereignty. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more equitable social and technological ecosystems. Dinkins is a professor at Stony Brook University where she runs the Future Histories Studio, a Mellon Foundation funded multidisciplinary lab. Dinkins earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Studies Program. She exhibits and publicly advocates for inclusive AI internationally at a broad spectrum of community, private and institutional venues. Dinkins was a 2021 United States Artist Fellow and Knight Arts & Tech Fellow. Previous fellowships, residencies and support include the Artist Fellow of the Berggruen Institute and Lucas Artists Fellow in Visual Arts at Montalvo Art Center, CA Onassis Foundation, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Creative Capital, Soros Equality Fellowship, Data and Society Research Institute Fellowship, Sundance New Frontiers Story Lab, Eyebeam, Pioneer Works Tech Lab, NEW INC, Blue Mountain Center; The Laundromat Project, Santa Fe Art Institute and Art/ Omi. The New York Times featured Dinkins in its pages as an AI Influencer. Wired, Art in America, Artsy, Art21, Hyperallergic, the BBC, Wilson Quarterly, and a host of popular podcasts have recently highlighted Dinkins’ art and ideas.
Surya Mattu is a Brooklyn based investigative journalist, artist and engineer who looks at the ways in which algorithmic systems perpetuate systemic biases and inequalities in society. Currently he works as an investigative data journalist at The Markup. Previously, he was a contributing researcher at ProPublica, where he worked on Machine Bias, a series that aims to highlight how algorithmic systems can be biased and discriminate against people. Machine Bias was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Explanatory Journalism. He has also worked at Gizmodos’ Special Projects Desk and been a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab. He has shown work at The Haus der Kulturen der Welt , Museum of Art & Design, The Whitney Museum, V&A Museum and Bitforms Gallery.
Jasmine E. McNealy is an attorney and internationally recognized scholar whose research is interdisciplinary, centered at the intersection of media, technology, policy, and law. Of particular focus are the areas of privacy, surveillance, and data governance. A public scholar who understands the importance of making research explainable and accessible to the wider public, McNealy has collaborated with partners and presented to academia, industry, government, and community audiences, and has translated her research in mass media outlets.
Srimoyee Mitra: is a curator and writer whose work focuses on building empathy and mutual respect. Her work is grounded in interdisciplinary research that lies at the intersection of exhibition-making and participation, migration, globalization and decolonial aesthetics. She developed an award-winning curatorial and publications program as the Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Windsor (2011-2016) in Canada. In 2015, she edited a multi-authored book, Border Cultures, co-published by the Art Gallery of Windsor and Black Dog Publishing. In 2017, Mitra was appointed Director of Stamps Gallery, part of Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, University if Michigan. Located in downtown Ann Arbor, she is the first Director of the new gallery, whose program has been recognized with grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and Michigan Council for Cultural Affairs.
Tawana Petty is a mother, organizer, poet, and author. She has spent over 15 years teaching poetry as visionary resistance to unjust policies and practices. She is a long-time organizer whose work primarily focuses on racial justice and equity issues, as well as advocating for data and digital privacy rights. Tawana is the founding Director of Petty Propolis, a Black women-led artist incubator, which teaches year-round anti-racism and literary workshops, and hosts an annual art festival and artist retreat in historic Idlewild, Michigan. In 2019, she served on the curatorial team for the renowned DEPTH Exhibition with Science Gallery-Detroit, and is a co-founder and former editorial board member of Riverwise Magazine. Tawana is an alumni fellow of the Digital Civil Society Lab at Stanford PACS, an alumni fellow with the Detroit Equity Action Lab, a former co-lead of Our Data Bodies, served as a program committee member for ACM FAcct 2021, an Ethics Reviewer for NeurIPS 2021, and has been a convening member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition since 2016. She has authored, co-authored or consulted on numerous publications and is the recipient of several awards.
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