Recent events, including the horrific and unacceptable killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as the protests of police actions that led to their deaths, have heightened our awareness of the ways systemic racism impacts us all. The SC Steering Committee recognizes that systemic and institutionalized racism have been blinding, leading to a failure to create a conference that is inclusive for BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) communities. Amidst the global reexamination of systemic and institutional racism, we are addressing these issues within SC’s context to instantiate a thoroughly welcoming and inclusive environment.
Today, the SC Conference organizers pledge to the SC community to take direct action to improve the racial climate. As a start, we have created a task force on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion at SC to help shape and drive our actions moving forward. This task force aims to investigate and offer deliberate actions the conference might pursue while striving for transparency and accountability. Initial recommendations from the task force are already underway. SC20 will publish statistics on the racial and ethnic diversity of conference attendees and the committee is thrilled to provide complimentary technical program registration to students, faculty, and staff from minority-serving institutions.
As planning continues for future conferences, we are excited to proceed with programs focused on diversity and inclusion such as HPC in the City, HPC Immersion, and the SIGHPC Computing 4 Change Program. We also look forward to continuing to support grassroots organizations that have chosen to host their workshops, Birds of a Feather sessions, and events at the SC conference. Furthermore, the SC Conference organizers are committed to upholding the letter and the spirit of the ACM and IEEE Codes of Conduct which prohibit discrimination, harassment, and bullying against any person for any reason.
The SC Steering Committee and the Task Force are currently developing additional online resources for contacting the committee and providing feedback. These will be posted as soon as the content is finalized.
Those looking to participate in the planning of future SC Conferences can learn more about joining the committee on the Planning Committee Applications web page.
Thank You External Members
The SC Steering Committee would like to acknowledge the external members of the Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion for their time, effort, and dedication in their tremendous work thus far including the crafting of this statement.
- Dorian Arnold, Emory University
- Roscoe Giles, Boston University
- Wendy Wilhelm, Intel Corporation
- William Burke, The George Washington University