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Conceptualizing Social Justice in the Information Sciences

Kevin Rioux, Kendra Albright and Bharat Mehra

(Submission #30)


An ad hoc, informal meeting, originally coined the “Social Justice Forum,” was initiated in Austin, TX, at the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Annual Meeting in 2006. It brought together people who were interested in social justice issues as they relate to information.

The purpose of the proposed technical session is to build on last year’s Forum and bring those interested and involved in social justice issues together for a formal exchange of ideas and discussion of relevant issues. Among the goals of this session are:

• To identify how principles, elements, and agendas of social justice are (or can be) furthered via social computing and use of information and communication technologies;

• To build a collection of information resources that exemplify and address issues of social justice in computing to represent best practices, case studies, and critical analysis in the knowledge domain;

• To promote networking among information researchers, educators, and others engaged in social justice work in order to create greater awareness and acknowledgement of relevant issues and social justice leaders;

• To trace social justice work being done in various areas associated with the information professions and social computing to chart the boundaries and map the terrain.

Possible outcomes of this session include identifying opportunities to contribute to special issue journals (including the ASIS&T Bulletin), monographs, etc.; identifying panel speakers for future conference presentations; identifying committees and SIGs that will represent social justice issues in professional associations; discussing overlap with other similar themed groups and networks; and brain-storming future actions and activities.

The format of the proposed technical session will include a keynote speaker, presentations, break-out groups and the development of a white paper that will map out future activities that will develop social justice concepts within the information professions.

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