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Race and education in a modern technopolis

Kamau Bobb
Global Lead, Diversity Strategy and Research at Google
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Google Cloud Next 2020
July 14, 2020, Online, San Francisco, CA, USA
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Kamau Bobb
Global Lead, Diversity Strategy and Research at Google

About the talk

What is a modern technopolis? How do societies identify mutual responsibilities and opportunities to build it equitably? Hear a discussion around understanding the challenges and difficulties for equal access to STEM education, and how this defines opportunities in the new American tech structure. Studying the city of Atlanta, Dr. Kamau Bobb shares his research on how the city's tech expansion is impacting its black population. He also highlights the implications of COVID-19 on race, access, and equity in the education system.

Speaker: Dr. Kamau Bobb

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fullname: Dr. Kamau Bobb;

event: Google Cloud Next 2020; re_ty: Publish;

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My name is Camille Bob. I am the global each for diversity strategy and research here at Google the discussion today is about race and education and the future of a modern technology in order to get into that conversation. It's important to understand the moment that we're currently in, obviously, the nation here in the United States and in the world is in flux. United States, its relevance to reflect a little bit on how we got to the moment that where we are in a moment of the conflation of a covid pandemic. And the social Uprising inspired by the killing of

George Floyd. In order to get into race and education, are we do have to stand back just a bit and think about the ideological. However you might feel about those things. The reality is National Trump. In the beginning, after six of these two ideologies are there was if you recall the woman's March. It was the largest demonstration in American history and it was revealing a certain kind of thinks about the ideology that were currently under. That was followed almost immediately by

and immigration that led to uprisings in airports all across the country from immigrants coming from certain Muslim, countries with the government shutdown and the longest in the history of the country. And then there was the impeachment and all the. While there was the dealing with racial Discord in Animas, Charlottesville eye demonstration led to a time where people who are my age. I was born four years after Martin Luther, King was assassinated. People were my age

having to contend with words like the Ku Klux Klan and not see if the weirdest organizations people again in my generation, those things are artifacts of history that we have to contend with them in real-time. And then ultimately, here we are in this covid-19 Global pandemic and all of the trauma that that's what the country under. And in the midst of that, we had to confront the killing of George. Floyd Wish has sent us all into what I would call in America. But discussing race and education and ultimately, what a modern technology is it would be incomplete

for us to try to do that without understanding at least contemplating, the effects of the moment that were in the relative to those two things race and education. The free fishing conditions idea is obviously part of the Lexicon now because we're talking about it and the disproportionate impact. It has the people who have freezes thing condition. The same is true in education and one of the principal pre-existing conditions that we're dealing with it and at least United States, education is segregation racial segregation specifically. And again here to, we have to be mindful

of the fact that we're not talking about racial segregation in 1964, previously were talking about it today here in 2020. If you recall 1954 was Brown versus Board of Education, where we decided as a country that Racial segregation in schools. In America was illegal separate is in fact, an inherently unequal. But here we are today is an example of racial segregation of what it shows is that in the colors that are dark and gray and black festive predominantly black section of the city. And those that are white white

sections of the sea. And that segregation is nearly absolute and it's correlated with everything with the quality of Education with the quality of public service and correlates with the kind and quality of interaction with the police. Why they get garbage picked up, it's certainly correlates with the voting patterns, the receipt here, in the city. But make it even more clear relative to education. I think it's important for us to consider how this actually plays out and certainly for those of us who live in the United States and have children, you know,

what, this is, like, in the schools and communities in which you list the names, here are immaterial. But these are basically the 11 traditional public high school in Atlanta. And all I want to illustrate here. Is that in the sensory eight of those schools, there are virtually no white students at all and all the students in the entire Atlanta, Public School System, essentially a 10-3 school. So it would be in fact true if we put a sign here that said these a schools are for blacks. Only And harkening back to a previous time. Those kinds of things are

egregious to our sensibilities here in the middle of the twenty-first century. But this is the reality and even in the schools where students attend those schools within them are also segregated better access to the advanced placement courses to the honors courses to the international Baccalaureate. And in this instance I've been to all these schools person so these are not not second hand information. I know in fact, in part because of my role is Georgia Tech, I understand how this works. So this is the street-level reality of the relationship between

race and education where is essentially still living in to totally Buy For assistance with two different sets of expectations about what I mean about what I offered to one group of students versus the other and clearly that limit their ability to participate. When they move into the post secondary world even further at the Georgia Tech College of computing, I'm using her as an example because I'm there as well. So, I'm speaking on behalf of information that I know,

well, ultimately what we've seen over the last decade and some is that the distraction of black and Latino students, who have been admitted into the cause of computing, has only increased income for Asian and white students. As you can see here, there's been a significant increase But what that is an indication of is the basic infrastructure that is segregated, which is a pre-existing condition that limit students, the opportunity to be able to play in this

and that indicates this course and brings us to the idea of what a modern technology is. And in my construction of this term when cities like Atlanta like Chicago, like the Bay Area, Oakland New York Raleigh-Durham, in the Research Triangle Park, they have been Economic Development strategies, that are premised on the idea that tech companies will show up in their countries in there, a reason and drive the economy for. And that is a, a reasonable expectations for

you requires a certain skill sets. Not on my Google are planning to wear these applications should be. They do an assassin of the workforce in. The workforce has capabilities in those places. And in the currents are trying to work with sneaking up, on the end of the first quarter of the 21st century. And this is, this is news. And language that we all know what are 21st century skills. What is the promise of a modern? The promise, is that we will have

people who have confrontational skills to have technical skill to have the wherewithal be able to participate in this modern economy in some way and that's a range from people who are software engineers and advanced competition was those who can use phasic analytical numerical skills to participate in whatever industry whether the art cultural generation service Industries, economy's exception. So we have to agree that there is some certain level of numeracy and analytical skills and technical skills that may be able to participate in what I call.

So, the challenge here, of course, is that if we're thinking about what citizenship means in that space and here, I don't mean, citizenship in the sense of who is legally able to qualify for business. And but rather citizenship in the sense of mutual responsibility and the ability to be able to be meaningful, to be present, to have a means of contributing in this modern technology, in this modern economy. In order to do that you have to have the aforementioned skills. But because the segregation is

so virulent and what it does, is it constrains the opportunity of certain sections of these cities to be able to participate in the kids. And makes this case, ultimately, is that we already know that black students in the public school system. In Atlanta, for example, are segregated in ways that lock them out of their ability to participate to get the access to higher institutions, like your bike. Stanford like Carnegie Mellon, But when companies are planning

where they ought to go, particularly tech companies that use those institutions, as proxy for the availability of a modern Workforce. So, if we already know a priori that the system that we have completely and totally and structurally locked out certain sections of the population and at the same time we build an economic development strategy. That's premise on the fact that we know that those students can't compete for building a future. We're building an idea of citizenship in a modern technology so that means the mass migration out of

technopolis has technopol I be like without the black population, the Latin population before population in rural communities in which they sit in their education cannot participate. And build an infrastructure to generate economic development in a second opolis, knowing that we're planning for a future. Without, we have to be clear about what that means and environment that we're currently in. Which is why I began this discussion that I did, in the way that I did, that's

where in a social life Rising hear what it means to be an American citizen to be by human rights to have your presence to be acknowledged respected and is in the specific specifically for people with other problem that were contending with now. So as we go forward, our challenge is a clip. These are things that I all of us are contained within the individual decisions that were making with us companies with a nonprofit organization. But access resources, and philosophy, access

obviously, is to the kind of education. That makes you a viable. The resources is the infrastructure that makes the l'education on Enclave. Functional to make sure the teachers are prepared, if you recall and last few years about 11 states for the public school, teachers, across the country that all aggregate to a philosophy. What is our philosophy about the utility of Education in the Democratic Republic? There are all in an integrated part of what a

modern technology is I would charge us to charge myself with trying to consider what we do. I think where we go from here, because the country is in such a flex Our biases toward making a quick app to try to bolster deficits that we can easily see if there aren't enough devices. There aren't enough students and communities with Broadband connectivity. All of those things are in the consideration of race and education. But we have to do here is that we

have to contend with our flowers. Were asking the educational the public education infrastructure in the United States, which I would argue, is one of the pillars of our Democratic Republic. What is the weird choosing to invest in such that we don't offer? You already decide that there are certain sense of students who have essentially no future irrespective of their own abilities and Ambitions and capabilities. They don't have a future in this country that we're trying to build. Particularly one that is driven by a sec, novelist idea. So those are the charges that I think they

were up. Again, it's a moment to consider the very best of the original American principal and a global sense of what it means to be human.

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