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Afrogeeks Conference to Feature Reports of African-American Success in Information Technology and New Media

Thursday, May 6, 2004 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Much has rightly been made of the tragedy of the digital divide -- the economic and social circumstances that allow affluent and middle-class kids ample educational experience with computers and other new technology while denying such opportunities to poor children.

But as a UC Santa Barbara conference intends to show, given the opportunity to learn, a disadvantaged student can become technological whiz.

Sponsored by UCSB's Center for Black Studies, "AfroGEEKS: From Technophobia to Technophilia" will assemble a diverse group of African-American academics, journalists, activists, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and others engaged in leading-edge new media and information technologies and African diasporic cultural production.

The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, May 7 and 8 in the McCune Conference Room (Room 6020) of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building. It is free and open to the public.

Anna Everett, an associate professor of film studies, director of the Center for Black Studies and co-organizer of the conference, said the conference would bring attention to technological success stories of black people.

"This conference focuses on the many unknown and unacknowledged success of black people's participation in the new information economy," Everett said. Such successes "are too often overshadowed by this group's disproportionately low levels of access to information technology."

The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Topics range from "Global Africa: Mastering the Upcoming Technology Complexity at a Minimum Cost" and "Welcome to GrooveLand: Black Blogs, Micro-communities, and the Performance Artist," to "Engaging the AfroGEEK Identity" and "E-commerce, Hip-Hop and Global Digital Youth Culture."

For a complete program, visit the conference web site at www.afrogeeks.com

Conference Web Site