It's intersectionality week at GU.

Events like Stories Behind the Stats, a screening of "Moonlight" and more have taken place to honor this theme. In conjunction with the week, a lecture will take place tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the Hemmingson Auditorium to address inclusion within the field of engineering. 

The speech will be given by Robert Morris University Associate Professor Woodrow W. Winchester and is titled “Race and Technology Engaging Afrofuturism as a Design Lens.”

The main point Winchester will be talking about is designing for inclusion and how currently, engineers are designing for themselves. He will be addressing the talk from an Afrofuturism perspective.

Ivan Jimenez, a senior on the board of directors for the American Society for Engineering Management worked to bring Winchester to campus. Jimenez who has heard Winchester speak before, explained how Winchester utilizes the philosophy of Black Panther to describe Afrofuturism. 

“It looks at [an] alternative reality," Jimenez said. "If it was never touched by the west. So, [through afrofuturism] you can look at art, film, technology and other forms of media, but all of them look at where black culture could be.”

While Afrofuturism addresses a what-if in history, it also stands for what could be in the future specifically from a technological point of view.

“Dr. Woodrow’s ideals line up with Gonzaga’s mission statement … His ability to articulate his ideas and I knew this was something Gonzaga needed,” Jimenez said. 

While this event may seem to target engineering students, anyone is welcome to go to the event.

“I think that Dr. Winchesters ideals are really applicable regardless of whether or not if you are a STEM major. We should all be looking ... in being involved in things that are more inclusive for everyone,” said Director of Diversity and Inclusion Fese Elango.

While both students, faculty and staff can go to this event, Winchester will be hosting another event for faculty tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.

Winchester will talk to faculty about how to incorporate the ideas into their classrooms. He suggests including this intersection of race and technology curriculum into the current learning curriculum for not only the school of engineering, but for the university as a whole.

Winchester also lead a workshop for assistant engineering professor Brianna Dorie's first year seminar classes today. 

As a part of intersectionality week, Dr. Winchester’s lectures revolve engineering and STEM becoming a more inclusive field. He will present his ideas over the span of a few days to both students and facility.

The event tonight is open to the community and is free for all. 

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(1) comment

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