DEIA Message from the Board

The SIGCSE board is committed to creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment for all members of the SIGCSE community. As stated in our email on October 7th 2022: “The SIGCSE Board is taking these matters very seriously and are working on specific next steps and a timeline for addressing them. We are committed to developing ways forward to ensure the safety and respect of all members of the SIGCSE community.”

The SIGCSE board is grateful for the feedback already provided by members of the community. This feedback was used to inform our developing plan:

What has been initiated:

  • Created the role of board liaison to the ACM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to ensure that our SIG is building on existing initiatives and is aligned with ACM efforts.

  • Met with (and will continue to meet with) leaders of other SIGs to learn about their effective strategies for creating safe and inclusive environments and processes.

  • Began to investigate the establishment of a process so people can confidentially and safely share any concern about SIGCSE activities in a neutral space with someone external to the community, and explore their options.

  • Created an anonymous virtual suggestion box for the community to submit feedback to the board. Entries will be reviewed at each Board meeting and decisions made about any actions to be taken.

  • Explore the creation of a new all-virtual SIGCSE conference to provide another forum for the community in a new, flexible and inclusive format

Plans for each SIGCSE conference:
  • Direct conference steering committees to conduct a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) analysis of any efforts and initiatives they are implementing to create safe and inclusive environments for all attendees and report findings to the Board. (starting February 2023)

  • Recommend the creation of the role of DEIA chair for each conference to serve as a point of contact and coordinate the conference’s DEIA initiatives. (starting February 2023)

Planned actions: (by December 2023)

  • Host regular listening sessions to solicit input and allow the community to share DEIA concerns.

  • Reach out to the individuals or groups that have provided input and/or written calls to action with an invitation to engage in problem-solving and discussion.

  • Share participation demographics for each SIGCSE-sponsored conference or event with the community.

  • Work with the committees of all SIGCSE-sponsored events to create a culture that ensures representation of scholars from traditionally marginalized groups who are knowledgeable in the topics discussed at the event.

  • Identify and implement strategies to minimize bias and increase diversity in all volunteer positions (e.g. conference leadership, committees, reviewers, the SIGCSE Board) and invited speakers.

  • Identify and implement strategies to minimize bias and optimize inclusion in our processes for eliciting nominations and selecting recipients of SIGCSE awards.

  • Commit to continually educating ourselves about our own biases and blind spots through reading, participating in professional development and discussions, and listening sessions.

We chose to serve on the SIGCSE board because we want to see our community nurtured to grow and thrive for all members. However, we acknowledge that we do not have all the answers. These initiatives are the beginning of our efforts in helping the community towards this goal. To reach the best outcomes, ongoing community input and engagement is essential. We look forward to working with the community to achieve these.

Alison Clear, Chair Brett A. Becker, Vice Chair Jill Denner, Treasurer Dan Garcia, Secretary Rodrigo Duran, At Large Member Yolanda A. Rankin, At Large Member Judy Sheard, At Large Member Adrienne Decker, Past Chair