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Safiya Noble

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, and holds appointments in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender Studies, and Education. Her research on the design and use of applications on the Internet is at the intersection of race, gender, culture, and technology. Her monograph, Algorithms of Oppression: Data Discrimination in the Digital Age explores racist and sexist algorithmic bias in search engines like Google (NYU Press, 2017). She serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies, and is the co-editor of two edited books: The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Culture and Class Online with Brendesha Tynes, and Emotions, Technology & Design with Sharon Tettegah. She is the recipient of a Hellman Fellowship and the UCLA Early Career Award.

Samuel Sinyangwe

Samuel Sinyangwe is a policy analyst and data scientist who works with communities of color to fight systemic racism through cutting-edge policies and strategies. Sam has supported movement activists across the country to collect and use data as a tool for fighting police violence through Mapping Police Violence and has co-launched Campaign Zero, a comprehensive policy platform to end police violence. Previously, Sam worked at PolicyLink to support a national network of 61 Promise Neighborhoods communities to build cradle-to-career systems of support for low-income families. He also worked with city leaders, youth activists and community organizations develop comprehensive agendas to achieve quality education, health, and justice for young black men. Sam grew up in Orlando, FL, and has been involved in organizing and advocacy since he was in high school. He graduated from Stanford University, where he studied how race and racism impact the U.S. political system.

It’s Not Magic: It’s SEO

Everyone wants their website to rank at #1 in a Google search but after writing their site’s content they don’t know the next steps for competing with the other 1 billion+ websites on the world wide web.

Did you know that Google has a Keyword Planner tool that tells you how much or how little competition a certain search phrase will yield? Do you use a standard naming convention for files and media that you upload or embed? Are you ensuring that your CMS is generating the right HTML tags for your content? There are several simple steps you may be missing when it comes to optimizing your website for search engines.

Instead of immediately shelling out hundreds of dollars for an SEO strategist, take a deep breath and then implement these often under-utilized tricks for improving your organic search engine ranking. With time, you’ll find the traffic you’re looking for.


I want attendees to take home 5-10 new ideas for boosting their website’s search engine ranking. I’m hoping to keep these ideas accessible to non-tech/non-HTML workers but hopefully I can inspire some web programmers to rethink some of their own processes when working on their company’s or clients’ websites.

Attendee skill level: either some experience with content strategy writing or project management; a newcomer to web development or design

Stop Playin’: Your Team Is Not An Improv Group, It’s A Bunch of Stand Up Comics

Often, organizations like to compare the way their creative teams function to that of an improv group. They tout their ability to work with each other and generate ideas and come together to create something great. The thing is, these organizations never actually work like improv groups do in practice. In reality, they work like a well-curated stand up comedy show. In this talk I will discuss my experiences in with software development, advertising and branding and my experiences with comedy to discuss why comparing your team to improv is a bucket of lies and what lessons from stand up comedy your organization can learn. Note: the speaker doesn’t have any beef with improv even though she is a stand up comedian.

I want organizations to understand how difficult managing creative people and the creative process really is. Also, I want organizations and individuals to understand how important proper idea curation is and learn how to do it correctly.

Attendee skill level: All levels

Don’t Shut Me Out! Language Is Content, Usability, and Accessibility

We don’t always think of language itself as a usability or accessibility issue, but language is highly complex and socially constructed. Language can draw a user in or make her feel rejected or othered, which will make or break an experience. This talk will center on why language is a content, usability, and accessibility issue, and highlight the consequences of not considering your users/audience when designing/writing content. You will learn how to reflect on your language choices, be more thoughtful with your content, and when/how to use translators.

By the end of this session, you should learn:

  • How language standards become standards and what that means when writing for specific audiences
  • More about the social and contextual effects of meaning-making and how humans communicate without saying exactly what they mean
  • How you can be more inclusive with your writing
  • Why you need to test your content with users, especially if you are using translated material
  • The benefits of using a human translator and testing your translated content with your target audience and why it matters that you test

Attendee skill level: Minimal. I will explain any technical language/terms I use and will provide real-world examples to illustrate.

Session Slides

Chris Lorenzo

Chris has worked at Comcast for 9 years — currently as a Senior Principal Engineer. He enjoys building/motivating teams and ramping up new projects. Besides coding in Javascript, He loves spending time with his family and helping out in the community. Chris is also heavily involved with local colleges and schools to mentor the next generation.

Bryan Kujawski

Bryan Kujawski is the Director of the Center for Academic Innovation at Capella University. With a strong passion for all things innovation, he brings his background in Experiential Learning to innovation, giving people the opportunity and support in getting their hands dirty. Bryan has presented and led innovation workshops many times, including a recurring spot at Hennepin County’s Innovation & Technology Expo, GeoCode 2.0, and the Games+Learning+Society Conference.

Amy Grace Wells

Amy Grace is a content strategist and user experience researcher with more than decade of experience “making rainbows and herding cats” in higher ed, publishing, and nonprofit. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in user experience design from Kent State University. Her experiences include at University of South Carolina, where she served as the first content strategist, and Texas A&M AgriLife, where she directed content strategy, information architecture, and social media for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and five state agencies. She served as an expert reviewer for “Content Strategy for WordPress,” published in 2015. Bragging rights include holding a sensei rank in karate and singing happy birthday to Muhammad Ali.

Hilary Dixon

Hilary Dixon is a UX designer at The Nerdery in Minneapolis, MN, where she probably spends too much time thinking about robots. She became interested in the cultural impact of emerging technologies while studying anthropology and cognitive science at Beloit College. As an experience designer she consults on research, strategy, and interaction design for a variety of retail and service design clients. She focuses on cross-disciplinary design approaches to create new possibilities in technology, media, and storytelling.

After spending her childhood following her dad around NASA centers across the US, Hilary worked in living history museums, theme parks, and other immersive spaces. You can usually find her haunting a museum or riding her bike around Minneapolis.

Kevin Lamping

Kevin Lamping is a Front-end Engineering Consultant. He helps organize Hill Country JS, a front-end meetup in San Antonio and runs the Parent Programming podcast. In his free-time, when he’s not playing with his kids, Kevin dabbles in tabletop gaming, piano and gardening.

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