A Model for Embedded Anti-Racism Instruction in an Undergraduate Technology Design Course

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Racism and other forms of bias in technology design have significant social ramifications. Decisions made, technology developed or not, the inclusion or exclusion of minoritized and marginalized voices in design and user testing – impact society and individuals. Understanding the impact of systemic racism and personal bias on decisions made by individuals with the knowledge and skills to create, manipulate, and control technology is imperative to the welfare of minoritized and marginalized individuals and the broader society. Ensuring that professionals are well-trained and understand their responsibilities and the power they wield is the purview of university Information Science programs.By creating and implementing a suite of course materials, this study seeks insight into student engagement with anti-racism instruction to understand better the efficacy of this type of instruction in practice. The study has the potential to identify new methods for the instruction of anti-racism and other anti-bias topics in technical courses. In doing so, we can combine the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) concept of “design for all” with the Critical Race Theory (CRT) idea that it is not enough to understand the social situation; we must strive to change it, to improve it. Keywords: anti-racism, critical race theory, embedded instruction, narrative, storytelling, systemic racism, technology design