In February, the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) celebrates Black History Month by highlighting pioneers in science and technology and sharing resources to expand diversity in tech. This year, following the lead of Dana Boone, a student in Florida, we’ve created our own ICS Periodic Table of Black History. In 2021, Boone put up at a display at his elementary school of the Periodic Table of Black History, created in 2019 by staff members at the Lakeland Public Library in Florida. Using that model as a foundation, we’ve created our own version, adding in some nationwide organizations supporting diversity in tech, resources here at UCI, ICS graduate students, ICS and engineering faculty, and computer scientists and tech pioneers — past and present. There are many more pioneers and many more STEM leaders here at UC Irvine, so we hope this is just a starting point for your exploration of Black history and talent.
“As much as I love this month, I want to remind us that recognizing African/Black Americans’ contributions to the United States is not a reprieve from anti-blackness,” says Dr. Gregory Diggs-Yang, assistant dean of the Office of Access and Inclusion (OAI). “Anti-blackness is actions or behaviors that minimize, marginalize or devalue the full participation of Black people in life. Let’s continue to celebrate Black History Month and all of our current faculty and staff who have overcome and continue to thrive in the midst of anti-blackness, but let’s also work to end anti-blackness, in all the spaces that have historically limited and kept out African/Black Americans’ contributions.”
— Shani Murray