Georgia Tech’s new strategic plan commits to “embrace our power as agents of change for the public good and generate talent, ideas, and solutions with unmatched impact and scale to help define and address the most critical problems of our time, locally and globally.” As the first of six areas of strategic focus, this commitment to Amplify Impact aligns squarely with the PIT-UN focus on creating technology and technologists who understand and serve the public interest. Georgia Tech is proud to be a founding member of the Public Interest Technology University Network. Early funding through PIT-UN helped build critical faculty capacity by seeding new research collaborations between technology experts at Georgia Tech and policy experts at Georgia State University to focus on historic inequities in the southeast. Recent funding expanded high impact educational practices by creating a community of practice around experiential education for technology students in areas of public good within a cross-cutting Center for Serve Learn Sustain. In the coming year, researchers in the College of Design will continue the Georgia Tech commitment to its near neighbors on the Westside of Atlanta through community-based, collaborative design efforts.
Steven McLaughlin, Professor and Provost/Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Westside Neighborhood – English Avenue: Building a Sustainable Community through Design and Technology
Addressing socioeconomic and technical needs of Westside neighborhood English Avenue, this project
leverages existing community resources to develop affordable housing and the attainable establishment of
positive neighborhood-based, citizen-centric social impact and equity through technology.
Julie Ju-Youn Kim, AIA, Associate Professor and Director, Flourishing Communities Collaborative, School of Architecture
Designing Workshops to Support Ethical Data Use
This project, a collaboration between Georgia Tech’s DataWorks, which employs and trains people from historically minoritized communities to do data cleaning, annotation, and archiving, and nonprofits, will develop participatory processes for creating tools and templates to empower a broad range of ethical data practices and to develop data ethics and literacy with middle-skill data workers and partners, for whom data is peripheral to their practice.
This project kicks off with an initial workshop (Data 101 Workshop) to articulate an organizational data profile and plan, followed by another workshop (Data Checklists Workshop) to create a checklist for the collection and use of data, guided by the principles and mission of partner nonprofit organizations.
Betsy DiSalvo, Associate Professor in the School of Interactive and founder of the Culture and Technology Lab (CAT Lab)
Community of Practice: Technology and Experiential Education for Public Good
Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) is a service-learning center that facilitates course projects on equity and sustainability with community partners, especially grassroots groups in low income neighborhoods and communities of color. SLS will use PIT-UN funding to facilitate a 2021 Community of Practice (CoP) comprising engineering faculty and students, grassroots partners, Georgia Tech’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office (IDEI) and its Career Center. CoP objectives are to establish a PIT career pipeline program in collaboration with IDEI and the Career Centers, with a special focus on underrepresented students, and to build relationships between our engineering schools and our partners that result in greater PIT-project capacity for both.
Jennifer Hirsch, Director, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain; Kris Chatfield, Program & Operations Manager, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain; and Ruthie Yow, Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain
Inclusive Tech Entrepreneurship Program (ITEP)
The Inclusive Tech Entrepreneurship Program (ITEP) will create a career training and placement model targeting college students with disabilities and from underrepresented minorities who are interested in becoming Public Interest Technology (PIT) entrepreneurs. Focusing on challenges specifically related to the disability divide and racial equity, ITEP will provide instruction, mentorships, externships, and business coaching to nurture a new generation of entrepreneurs. We will also work with the project partners to define PIT entrepreneurship. ITEP will provide a unique opportunity for students with disabilities and from underrepresented minorities to launch their startups to address social problems caused by non-inclusive technology.
Zerrin Ondin, PhD, Research Scientist
Faculty and Institution Building
The Southeast Region PIT Faculty Fellows Program
The Southeast Region PIT Faculty Fellows program will create and demonstrate collaborations between technologists and social scientists centered around the historic and continued equity challenges of the Southeast region and provide a model for regional PIT work focused on place-based challenges.
Ellen Zegura, Professor, Computer Science