Panel 5

Combating Hate and Bias Recap:

Sexism, Misogyny, and Politics

Quazha Nettles

Feb 27, 2024

The fifth panel in the Combating Hate and Bias Conference focused on sexism, misogyny, and politics. The panel included Nicki Washington, Cue Family Professor of the Practice, Computer Science and Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies at Duke University; Director, Alliance for Identity-Inclusive Computing Education (AiiCE) and Selma Newbill, MPP Candidate at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and Advocacy Support Specialist at the Network for Victim Recovery of DC and was moderated by Deondra Rose, Director of Polis: Center for Politics, Kevin D. Gorter, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Political Science, and History.

Washington highlighted her current work in identity and computing and the dangers of AI technology. She attributes this danger to the lack of diversity in tech and “understanding of identity.” Her work aims to bring awareness of racism, bias, and its impact on the discipline of Computer Science and technology.

Newbill spoke on her experiences as an undergrad and the lack of awareness of sexual violence occurring on college campuses. She has worked for several organizations providing support to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of gender-based crimes. As a graduate student, she plans to use her experiences to continue "protecting women, protecting girls, protecting any identity." She spoke on how her personal experiences as a survivor of sexual violence gave her the motivation to want to impact that field.

Both Newbill and Washington spoke on their personal experiences of gender related hate and bias and how they use their work at Duke University to spread awareness and combat this discrimination. They highlight the need for greater resources, inclusivity, and broader measurable changes to create safe spaces for women in academia.

They also highlight the need to put yourself first, especially after dealing with complex and often emotional topics, as to avoid burnout. "I learned later in my career to just stop, and things can wait," Washington said. "I've also learned to say no and that was the biggest help for me. No is a complete sentence."

Quazha Nettles

Quazha Nettles

Quazha Nettles is Administrative and Communications Assistant for Polis.