ACM Stands with Those Who Promote Inclusivity
A Statement from ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Council
In the United States, and throughout many regions around the world, current events have brought attention to the urgent need for equality and respect for all individuals. We have witnessed racism and violence against Black people in the United States and in our communities. Most recently, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have re-focused attention to the long-standing racism and injustice that plagues the United States and many other nations. In response, there are worldwide demonstrations and protests. ACM members are directly impacted by these events and we, the volunteer leadership of ACM, are outraged by this all-too familiar pattern of enduring injustice. Black Lives Matter.
This is a hard problem, and we will continue to make change and actively seek ways to take meaningful action. The Diversity and Inclusion Council’s role is to serve as a convener and focal point for these issues within ACM and to serve as a resource for those seeking to effect positive change; the D&I Council does not set policy. We will continue to listen, to learn, to engage and to explore new ways to actively foster diversity and fight against racism. In the immediate aftermath of these most recent events, we commit to the following actions:
- Perform a systematic and complete review of ACM policies and practices that can be shared and communicated throughout ACM’s activities and programs to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Encourage ACM’s Boards/Councils and Committees to nominate and recruit black and underrepresented members of the community for positions within ACM.
- Recommend ACM fund travel grants to support conference attendance for students and scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.
- Encourage Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to include sessions and activities at conferences and workshops focused on combating implicit bias and other forms of bias, particularly as applicable to technological development and impacts on creating a more inclusive society.
- Encourage SIGs to further diversify conference organizing committees, persons serving in conference leadership roles, and those invited to serve as plenary/keynote speakers, and to report on their progress.
- Recommend expansion of funding for events that focus on amplifying the scholarship of Black and other groups underrepresented in computing and to broaden the participation of aspiring scholars from these communities in computing—undergraduate and graduate students, and junior researchers and faculty.
ACM's Diversity and Inclusion Council is an essential resource for SIGs, conferences, boards, and councils looking for best practices to improve diversity in their organization and develop programs with a broader reach in the computing community. Our guide provides examples of both inherent and acquired characteristics, which should be taken into consideration when looking at ways to improve the diversity of your team.