[This will also appear in the January SIGCSE Bulletin, sigcse.org/bulletin]
The engagement of diverse people in an endeavor drives creativity and innovation, but in computing and STEM fields, broadening participation is also a matter of equity. It is critical that we, as the computer science education community, improve inclusion of diverse people, especially those from underrepresented populations. Globally, underrepresentation differs regionally and culturally by gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic advantage, physical, mental, and cognitive ability, and LGBT status. The need to support diversity becomes even more important for disenfranchised groups with limited legal rights and protections. Lest we think that this is a minority-only issue, consider developing countries or the poor of every nation, with little to no access to education and resources, where computing could help build the economy, health, education, and financial systems.
We invite you to join IEEE Computer’s newly-established Special Technical Community on Broadening Participation (stcbp.org) to create a collective global strategy to research and improve participation and inclusion in computing.
Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT) is the focus of our first international meeting. Co-located with the STARS Celebration in Charlotte, NC, just after ICER, RESPECT 2015 will be a premier research conference with research papers, experience reports (due March 27), posters and panels (due June 5). We invite all interdisciplinary work that draws on computer science, education, learning sciences, and the social sciences to help us build a strong community, theory, and foundation for broadening participation research.
We hope you will get involved today by joining stcbp.org, submitting to stcbp.org/RESPECT, attending RESPECT 2015 August 13-14, or contacting the STC-BP chairs Tiffany Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org, or George K. Thiruvathukal, email@example.com.