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Welcome to the course

Watch this video to meet Charlene Hunter, CEO of Coding Black Females and find out what you’ll learn on the course.

Welcome, and thank you for choosing to join this course! We hope you’re ready to explore anti-racist approaches to technology development over the next three weeks.

In this video, you’ll meet Charlene Hunter, CEO of Coding Black Females and Lead Educator for this course. Charlene explains that racism in technology doesn’t happen because somebody is sitting behind a computer screen writing racist code, but because technologies reflect systemic forms of racism and exclusion that exist in society and the technology industry.

This course has been designed to help you be critical of technologies and the racism they can reinforce. You’ll learn a range of different tools and approaches that will help you to create or advocate for anti-racism in technology development and beyond. The field of people working on this topic is broad, including industry experts, technologists, artists, academics, policymakers, journalists, and activists. Through the rest of the course, we’ll introduce you to perspectives from across these areas, as well as sharing our own experiences.

What to expect from the course

Before we get into the first week, here is a summary of what you can expect throughout the course:

Week 1

In this first week of the course, we will be exploring how racial inequalities can be produced or reinforced by technologies, and how this can come about. By the end of this week, you will be better able to:

  • Identify forms of racism within technology
  • Reflect on histories of racism relating to technology
  • Understand the impact of racism in technology
  • Investigate how racial biases can creep into technology development

Week 2

Week 2 starts by looking at examples of anti-racist technologies. You’ll then hear about ways to tackle racism in organisations and reflect on things that get in the way of creating anti-racist technologies. Finally, you’ll start to investigate racism in the technology development process.

Week 3

In week 3, you’ll investigate anti-racist approaches to recruitment and user research, and explore inclusive product design. You’ll discuss anti-racist approaches to implementation and testing, and finally, reflect on how you can apply what you’ve learned to your own context.

To get the most out of this course, we suggest that you interact with other learners through the comments and explore external content on your own. There will also be activities that provide an opportunity to reflect on and apply your learning, so join in discussions, share your experience and any questions and ideas you may want to share. We ask that you respect FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct, with specific reference to the following:

“You are respectful of others and do not use words or share content that is offensive or inflammatory. This includes, but is not limited to, language, names or content that is sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, antisemitic, Islamophobic, sexually explicit, abusive, contains swearing or is otherwise likely to cause offence.”

The process of building anti-racist technologies is a collective one and we are so happy you’re here to do that with us.

To get us started join your fellow learners by:

  • Introducing yourself with your name and job role
  • Sharing what you hope to get from this course
  • Sharing a piece of technology that you find very helpful in your daily life

Please only share details that you are comfortable with others knowing.

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Anti-Racist Approaches in Technology

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