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9/29/2017
5th Annual RASS Rendezvous

2017 MLA Conference: Keynote and Featured Speakers
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Keynote Speakers
Featured Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Thursday, Oct. 5th - 11:35am 
Intentional Inclusion: Do Not be the Monkey!

Alicia Sojourner, YWCA

The everyday world is full of verbal, visual and environmental messages that tell us that we either belong and meet understood societal norms or we simply do not. Creating an intentionally inclusive environment means that we need to be aware of the messages, recognize when we are giving, receiving and witnessing them and learning some steps to eliminate those practices. These are thoughts and skills that, when learned and practiced, will become second nature.


Alicia Sojourner serves as the Racial Equity Consulting Manager at YWCA Minneapolis. Alicia has many years in the Education and Public Policy fields. Alicia currently uses her background in grassroots community and political organizing for early childhood education, disability rights, and racial equality to inspire others to be change agents in the YWCA community, as well as their own.

Over the years, Alicia has been involved in many activities that foster community, including serving on the Board of Directors for a Minneapolis charter school to ensure children at every ability have an opportunity to learn, member of the Interfaith Children's Advocacy Network (iCAN), lead of a support group for parents who are parenting on their own, supporting women living with negative body image and food addiction, and raising awareness of the achievement gap of children with disabilities in communities of color and how it affects the overall community.

Alicia has been awarded many opportunities over the years, including: Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) Program through Children’s Defense Fund, Young Alaka'i Award for working with marginalized youth, and winner of Inspiring Women by the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.


Friday, Oct. 6th - 11:35am 
Social Justice in LIS, Finding the Imperative to Act

Safiya Umoja Noble, Ph.D.

Critical information and library science scholars have written extensively about how hierarchies of power are reproduced and enacted through digital technologies. Technological projects are never neutral. In this talk, Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble from the USC Annenberg School of Communication will discuss the importance of the digitally-enabled academic-activist community to offer models of intervention and resistance through research, practice and teaching. By illuminating linkages to power struggles over values, particularly in the context of the digital, we can re-examine information contexts that can engender greater responsibility and imperative to act.


In the Fall of 2017, Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble will join the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA where she held appointments in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender Studies, and Education. She is a partner in Stratelligence, a firm that specializes in research on information and data science challenges, and is a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute, which provides training for organizations committed to transforming their information management practices toward more just, and equitable outcomes. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.

Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology design. Her monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines is entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (forthcoming, NYU Press). She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online (Peter Lang, Digital Formations, 2016), and Emotions, Technology & Design (Elsevier, 2015). Safiya holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis on African American/Ethnic Studies.


Featured Speakers

Thursday, Oct. 5th - 10:30am 
Using Storytelling to Uplift Immigrant Voices: Panel with Immigrant High School Students

Tea Rozman Clark, Green Card Voices

In this session, two immigrant high school students and Green Card Voices' Executive Director Tea Rozman Clark will share about how the book series “Green Card Youth Voices” helped empower young immigrants through sharing their stories. In 2016, GCV partnered with Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis to record and publish 30 stories written by immigrant students. This model has been replicated in Fargo, ND and St. Paul, MN. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of recently arrived immigrant students. You will see the broad impact of the project as it directly strengthens young immigrant voices while also working to navigate this particularly divisive time in our history.

Green Card Voices (GCV) is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that shares first-person immigrant stories in order to foster tolerance and understanding between immigrant and nonimmigrant communities. 


Dr. Rozman Clark was born in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia) and it was there at age 15 that she experienced the effects of war first-hand. She was so profoundly moved by her experience that she vowed to do everything she could to help those whose lives had been unjustly disrupted by conflict. Dr. Rozman Clark has certainly kept her promise. Since then, she has volunteered countless hours to serving refugees and immigrant populations not only in Slovenia but in countries all over the world. 

Professionally, she has worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations and has managed over twenty-five projects in three post-conflict countries, including Kosovo, Bosnia, and Macedonia. She worked as an intern in the United Nations Development Program’s Best Practices Office and wrote her Ph.D. thesis on the failed UN peacekeeping intervention during the Bosnian genocide. In fact, it was her work gathering personal testimonies from survivors and Dutch peacekeepers for her thesis that alerted her to the power of personal stories, which has become her signature work in the Upper Midwest region.

Dr. Rozman Clark is co-founder and executive director of Green Card Voices (GCV), an organization dedicated to sharing the stories of immigrants with the goal of shrinking the divide between immigrant and nonimmigrant communities in the United States.  While part of Green Card Voices, she has interviewed over 300 first-generation immigrants and refugees from over 100 different countries and six continents, and organized over fifty exhibits throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Since 2015 and under the leadership of Dr. Rozman Clark, Green Card Voices has self published the following titles: 

• VOICES OF IMMIGRANT STORYTELLERS: Teaching Guide for Middle and High Schools (2015), 
• Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Minneapolis High School (2016, gold medal winner for Best Multicultural Nonfiction Chapter Book in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, and 2016 Foreword INDIES Finalist),
• Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Fargo High School (March 2017)

Their forthcoming book Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a St. Paul High School will be published in June 2017. 

In 2015, Dr. Rozman Clark was awarded the prestigious Bush Leadership Fellowship, which has enabled her to grow Green Card Voices and continue to make good on the promise she made over 20 years ago. The fellowship has given her the opportunity to study with the world's leading social entrepreneurs at Stanford University, to learn how to mobilize her majority immigrant board at Harvard University, and to deepen her knowledge on finance, scaling, social entrepreneurship, management and leadership at the UMN’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dr. Rozman Clark has accomplished this while raising two elementary-age daughters and mentoring many fellow immigrants, which have been the most gratifying of all.


Thursday, Oct. 5th - 2:15pm 
Kids & Race: What’s Really in Their Heads?

Alicia Sojourner, YWCA

Whether it’s the kids that come into the library, your own kids, or simply a group of kids you care about, it can be tough to know or understand about race and racism. Understand the development of kids from birth to adolescent in connect to understanding race and racism. The knowledge and understanding will support skills in having conversations with kids about race

Alicia Sojourner serves as the Racial Equity Consulting Manager at YWCA Minneapolis. Alicia has many years in the Education and Public Policy fields. Alicia currently uses her background in grassroots community and political organizing for early childhood education, disability rights, and racial equality to inspire others to be change agents in the YWCA community, as well as their own.

Over the years, Alicia has been involved in many activities that foster community, including serving on the Board of Directors for a Minneapolis charter school to ensure children at every ability have an opportunity to learn, member of the Interfaith Children's Advocacy Network (iCAN), lead of a support group for parents who are parenting on their own, supporting women living with negative body image and food addiction, and raising awareness of the achievement gap of children with disabilities in communities of color and how it affects the overall community.

Alicia has been awarded many opportunities over the years, including: Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) Program through Children’s Defense Fund, Young Alaka'i Award for working with marginalized youth, and winner of Inspiring Women by the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.


Friday, Oct. 6th - 10:30am 
Immigration and Human Rights in Minnesota 

Michele Garnett McKenzie, Advocates for Human Rights


Michele Garnett McKenzie leads research, education, and advocacy efforts for The Advocates for Human Rights in areas including migration and human trafficking. As an attorney with a background representing asylum seekers and detained immigrants, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Michele serves on the national leadership of the Immigration Advocates 
Network and has also served as an adjunct clinical faculty member of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. 

Friday, Oct. 6th - 2:15pm 
Non-neutral Searching: Algorithmic Bias

Safiya Umoja Noble, Ph.D.

This talk provides evidence of how digital media platforms operate with explicit types of racist and sexist bias, while purporting to be value-free, neutral, and even emancipatory. The goal of closely examining a few distinct cases of algorithmic oppression, and their meaning, is to raise a public discussion of the broader implications of how algorithms have become essential to many information-driven decisions, and the implications of these for people who are already systematically marginalized and oppressed.  


In the Fall of 2017, Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble will join the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communication. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA where she held appointments in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender Studies, and Education. She is a partner in Stratelligence, a firm that specializes in research on information and data science challenges, and is a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute, which provides training for organizations committed to transforming their information management practices toward more just, and equitable outcomes. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.

Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology design. Her monograph on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines is entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (forthcoming, NYU Press). She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online (Peter Lang, Digital Formations, 2016), and Emotions, Technology & Design (Elsevier, 2015). Safiya holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno with an emphasis on African American/Ethnic Studies.

 

 

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