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Racial Justice Amidst the Dangers of Computing Creep: A Dialogue

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Abstract

The push for computing education in P-12 schools, which parallels the ongoing proliferation of computing in society, has accelerated in recent years. With respect to racially minoritized groups, this dynamic of computing creep has manifested in calls to “broaden participation,” typically with the promise of access to economic opportunities in the computing industry. But whose interests does the “broadening participation” narrative actually serve? Is this narrative adequate to the urgent project of racial justice and, if not, what as a field do we need instead? In this article, we present a dialogue that echoes major debates in the field about these critical issues. First, we discuss current trends and approaches to racial equity and racial justice in computing education. Next, we consider the possibilities and limits of systemic change in the field. Finally, we debate whether it is even possible for computing education to advance racial justice, given the corporate and governmental stakeholders that currently shape the field of computing. We conclude with questions and provocations for the field to consider as this dialogue continues.

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Correspondence to Niral Shah.

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Shah, N., Yadav, A. Racial Justice Amidst the Dangers of Computing Creep: A Dialogue. TechTrends 67, 467–474 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-023-00835-z

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