Techno-Social Change Agents: Fostering Activist Dispositions Among Girls of Color
Discourse about girls and women of color in technology has followed the familiar path of using a single-unit analysis to explain disparity. Consequently, approaches to “motivate” girls of color overemphasize gender and engage in technological fetishization without fully considering how race, gender, class, and technology are co-constituted. Drawing on critical feminist theory, social justice education, and science and technology studies, this essay offers a critique of neoliberal approaches to technology education for girls of color and provides a broad overview of the conceptual catalysts that shape the approach of COMPUGIRLS, a National Science Foundation–funded technology program. The overview demonstrates how intersectionality and education activism can nurture the dispositions of girls of color to become techno-social change agents. The essay ends with a primer lesson on the representation of intersectional identities in online spaces that illustrates our theoretical and pragmatic approach toward education, activism, and girls of color in a digital age.