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Amplifying Voices: Community-Engaged Surveillance Redesign via Speculative Design and Photovoice

November 14, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tawanna Dillahunt (MLK Visiting Professor)

32-G882 (Hewlett)

Moving toward equitable, inclusive, and sustainable futures requires new and evolved approaches to conducting human-computer interaction research. This requires that we, as academics, practitioners, and policymakers, embrace community-engaged approaches to our work, reaching out to the often-overlooked voices in society who possess profound insights into technology’s ethics, potential, and future. I will present two such cases—a journey through speculative design and an illuminating exploration through photovoice, both undertaken in collaboration with two vibrant Detroit community organizations. Within these narratives lies the power to redefine the fabric of our technological infrastructure, especially the critical realm of safety systems. This presentation will unravel the theoretical and methodological implications of redesigning and rethinking surveillance infrastructure through the wisdom and voices of those who have long been marginalized.

Tawanna Dillahunt is a 2023-2024 MIT MLK Fellow in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and IDSS, and an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. She holds a courtesy appointment with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. She leads the Social Innovations Group (SIG), an interdisciplinary group of individuals whose vision is to design, build, and enhance technologies to solve real-world problems affecting marginalized groups and individuals primarily in the U.S. Her current projects aim to address unemployment, environmental sustainability, and technical literacy by fostering social and socio-technical capital within these communities. At MIT, she is working to explore and raise the visibility of alternative economic futures for Black and Brown Detroiters.

Dillahunt, an ACM Distinguished Member and inaugural Skip Ellis Early Career Award recipient, was a 2022-2023 William Bentinck-Smith Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

The talk will also be streamed over Zoom: https://mit.zoom.us/j/98097552312.

MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307