Thursday, March 15, 2018

Can Higher Education Make Silicon Valley More Ethical?; Chronicle of Higher Education, March 14, 2018

Nell Gluckman, Chronicle of Higher Education; Can Higher Education Make Silicon Valley More Ethical?

"Jim Malazita, an assistant professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, hopes to infuse ethics lessons into core computer-science courses."...

"Q. You mentioned you’ve been getting some pushback.

A. I’ve had to do a lot of social work with computer-science faculty. The faculty were like, This sounds cool, but will they still be able to move on in computer science? We’re using different, messier data sets. Will they still understand the formal aspects of computing?

Q. What do you tell faculty members to convince them that this is a good use of your students’ time?

A. I use a couple of strategies that sometimes work, sometimes don’t. It’s surprisingly important to talk about my own technical expertise. I only moved into social science and humanities as a Ph.D. student. As an undergraduate, my degree was in digital media design. So you can trust me with this content.

It’s helpful to also cast it in terms of helping women and underrepresented-minority retention in computer science. These questions have an impact on all students, but especially women and underrepresented minorities who are used to having their voices marginalized. The faculty want those numbers up."

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

IBM settles legal dispute with diversity officer hired by Microsoft; IBM, March 5, 2018

Jan Wolfe, Reuters; IBM settles legal dispute with diversity officer hired by Microsoft

"International Business Machines Corp on Monday said it settled a trade secrets lawsuit it brought against its former chief diversity officer who left for a similar job at Microsoft Corp.

The settlement allows Lindsay-Rae McIntyre to begin working at Microsoft in July."

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here’s how Canada can be a global leader in ethical AI; The Conversation, February 22, 2018

The Conversation;    Here’s how Canada can be a global leader in ethical AI

"Putting Canada in the lead

Canada has a clear choice. Either it embraces the potential of being a leader in responsible AI, or it risks legitimating a race to the bottom where ethics, equity and justice are absent.
Better guidance for researchers on how the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedomsrelates to AI research and development is a good first step. From there, Canada can create a just, equitable and stable foundation for a research agenda that situates the new technology within longstanding social institutions.
Canada also needs a more coordinated, inclusive national effort that prioritizes otherwise marginalized voices. These consultations will be key to positioning Canada as a beacon in this field.
Without these measures, Canada could lag behind. Europe is already drafting important new approaches to data protection. New York City launched a task force this fall to become a global leader on governing automated decision making. We hope this leads to active consultation with city agencies, academics across the sciences and the humanities as well as community groups, from Data for Black Lives to Picture the Homeless, and consideration of algorithmic impact assessments.
These initiatives should provide a helpful context as Canada develops its own governance strategy and works out how to include Indigenous knowledge within that.
If Canada develops a strong national strategy approach to AI governance that works across sectors and disciplines, it can lead at the global level.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ruth Simmons on Cultivating the Next Generation of College Students; New York Times, February 28, 2018

Marguerite Joutz, New York TimesRuth Simmons on Cultivating the Next Generation of College Students

"In 2012, after a distinguished career in higher education, which included serving as the president of Smith College and Brown University — where she was the first black woman to lead an Ivy League institution — Ruth J. Simmons retired and moved back to her home state, Texas.

She didn’t think she’d ever work at a university again. But after several years, Prairie View A&M University, a historically black school with about 9,000 students, came calling...

M.J.: You’ve led several institutions that are all very different from each other, and the topic of leadership is something you’ve talked a lot about. In another interview with The Times you said that it’s much easier to lead people “if you convey the underlying principles.” Can you elaborate?

R.S.: One thing that I’ve learned is that the perceptions of what it takes to be a leader are often based on prototypical models that don’t have much truth in reality. People look at the institutions that I have led and they see dissimilarities. I see similarities. When people think in terms of leadership, they’re often thinking about the kind of specific skills needed for different types of enterprises. I think of leadership as more of a disposition — the ability to step into a situation to learn about the history of the enterprise, the opportunities that it faces, the culture that exists and the people who are served by it. To look at all of that, to listen to stakeholders and then to think about how that enterprise or institution should best be served. There is no one model of leadership if you approach it that way. What I have tried to do wherever I go is to start where the institution is rather than try to import particularly rigid constructs from other places. In that sense, I think a leader is more than anything else a facilitator. A person who is able to come in to show a community a picture of what it is, to provide some insight into what it could be — how it could be different or improved perhaps — and then enlist the help of people who are there and others who support that institution in order to move forward together.

I don’t subscribe to the model of hero leadership, which is identifying somebody who can come in and have magical powers and then wield the wand and fix things that have not been fixable before. I don’t see that. I think leadership is a community affair."

Why I'm Writing Captain America And why it scares the hell out of me; The Atlantic, February 2018

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic; Why I'm Writing Captain America

"Finally, but most importantly, I have to thank the black comic creators I admired as a youth, often without even knowing they were black—Christopher PriestDenys CowanDwayne McDuffie, specifically—without whom none of this would be possible. There has long been a complaint among black comic creators that they are restricted to black characters. I don’t know what it means to live in a world where people restrict what you write, and the reason I don’t know is largely because of the sacrifices of all those who were forced to know before me. I have not forgotten this.
Captain America #1 drops on the Fourth of July. Excelsior, family."

Conservative Groups Want ‘Harmful’ LGBT Books Segregated at Iowa Library; Daily Beast, February 24, 2018

Tatyana Bellamy-Walker, Daily Beast; Conservative Groups Want ‘Harmful’ LGBT Books Segregated at Iowa Library

"Conservative groups in Iowa are demanding a library in Orange City shelve LGBTQ materials, including books and DVDs, separately to everything else, claiming they could "harm" children.

The groups equate the reading of such books to drug use and eating Tide pods."

The Iceman Cometh Out; New York Times. February 19, 2018

Stephanie Burt, New York Times; The Iceman Cometh Out

"Superhero comics address, and empower, straight white nerdy boys. That’s been true of most comics, for most of their history. But is it the genre’s central truth? For some of us, it never was. As Ramzi Fawaz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has pointed out, superhero comics are the only popular genre in which anomalous bodies are not just tolerated but celebrated: The same thing that makes you look weird means you can save the world. Moreover, comics — because they involve stories of human (and superhuman) conflict and change; because they show hand-drawn pictures, with stylized faces; because they often appeal to us first in childhood — invite identification: We read them in search of ourselves, or our future selves.

These facts about comics explain — in part — why the X-Men became the most successful superhero franchise of the 1980s. Mutation, the source of X-powers, could stand, well or badly, for stigmatized real-world identities, as well as for the outsider status most kids, at some point, feel. The best X-books integrated real-world diversity too. Under Chris Claremont (who wrote many of them from 1975 to 1991) the core cast included a few women of color, one of them a virtual god, along with very strong hints of queer sexuality. More than almost any other gaudy bang-pow-pop cultural property, X-books offered — then and since — an imaginative space where L.G.B.T. readers could feel at home."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

'Access+Ability' exhibit showcases designs for, and by, those with disabilities; CNN, February 21, 2018

Erin Gabriel, CNN; 'Access+Ability' exhibit showcases designs for, and by, those with disabilities

"Eye-catching objects designed for, and by, people with physical and other disabilities are the focus of the current "Access+Ability" exhibition in New York.

More than 70 exhibits, including colorful prosthetic leg covers and jeweled earrings that are also hearing aids, are featured as examples of "inclusive design" at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

"There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities," according to the museum's website.

The new exhibit -- like the museum itself -- aims to reflect that trend. "This year Cooper Hewitt embarked on a very ambitious initiative about accessibility, about making our campus, our program, who we are, much more accessible and it seemed like the perfect moment to do the exhibition 'Access + Ability,' " said Cara McCarty, the museum's curatorial director."

Read Ryan Coogler’s Heartfelt Thank You to Black Panther Fans; Comic Book Resources, February 21, 2018

Geoff Miller, Comic Book Resources; Read Ryan Coogler’s Heartfelt Thank You to Black Panther Fans

"Black Panther took the world by storm on its way to a historic opening weekend, and director Ryan Coogler has now shared his heartfelt thoughts on the film’s resounding success.

“I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment, but I will try,” the filmmaker wrote in a letter posted on Twitter by Marvel Studios. “Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film. But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters often moved me and my wife to tears.”"

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Why Wakanda matters; Washington Post, February 20, 2018

Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post; Why Wakanda matters

"“Identity is not dead, as the incredibly identitarian Trump administration has made quite clear,” wrote my colleague Christine Emba, hailing the film as a “black triumph.” “Because of, and in spite of, an increasingly divided racial climate, the representation of people of color in broader spaces matters.”

"We’re in a political moment where the president of the United States calls people from Haiti and Africa, he calls those countries ‘s---holes,’ ” Narcisse told The Post. “If you’re a young person hearing that … you need to see a superhero that’s smart, cunning and noble who also looks like you. Granted, it’s fiction, but superheroes have always had an aspirational aspect to them.”

In the end, “Black Panther” delivers a pointed message of inclusion, a call to build “bridges” — not “walls” — to move beyond a past of violence and injustice."

Creating Chaos Symposium on the Future of Libraries speakers share how they innovate in education; American Libraries, February 11, 2018

Terra Dankowski, American Libraries; Creating Chaos

Symposium on the Future of Libraries speakers share how they innovate in education

"[Peter] Piccolo [executive director of innovation at the Imaginarium: Denver Public Schools Innovation Lab] kicked off “Libraries Transform: Education Innovation” at the American Library Association’s 2018 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver on Saturday by sharing his organization’s framework for creating change: design thinking and research, two concepts familiar to library professionals. The session was part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries series, and Piccolo was joined by copresenter Nina Sharma, managing director of the University of Denver’s Project X-ITE.

“As human beings, we’re not biologically wired to change,” Piccolo said. “You have to manage change intentionally.” He offered 10 key takeaways to spur innovation and inspire attendees, including creating psychological safety for employees so they’re inclined to take risks; eliminating structural barriers so people have incentive to innovate; inviting “diversity of perspective and creative chaos” instead of waiting for eureka moments; and being an ambidextrous leader who does not confuse innovation with implementation.

Piccolo also stressed that innovation means having a bias toward action—even if that means failure. “Failure has been romanticized,” he said. “There’s bad failure and good failure, and when there’s good failure you have to know how to improve.”

Monday, February 19, 2018

AI ‘gaydar’ could compromise LGBTQ people’s privacy — and safety; Washington Post, February 19, 2018

JD Schramm, Washington Post; AI ‘gaydar’ could compromise LGBTQ people’s privacy — and safety

"The advances in AI and machine learning make it increasingly difficult to hide such intimate traits as sexual orientation, political and religious affiliations, and even intelligence level. The post-privacy future Kosinski examines in his research is upon us. Never has the work of eliminating discrimination been so urgent."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Congress is worried about AI bias and diversity; Quartz, February 15, 2018

Dave Gershgorn, Quartz; Congress is worried about AI bias and diversity

"Recent research from the MIT Media Lab maintains that facial recognition is still significantly worse for people of color, however.
“This is not a small thing,” Isbell said of his experience. “It can be quite subtle, and you can go years and years and decades without even understanding you are injecting these kinds of biases, just in the questions that you’re asking, the data you’re given, and the problems you’re trying to solve.”
In his opening statement, Isbell talked about biased data in artificial intelligence systems today, including predictive policing and biased algorithms used in predicting recidivism rates.
“It does not take much imagination to see how being from a heavily policed area raises the chances of being arrested again, being convicted again, and in aggregate leads to even more policing of the same areas, creating a feedback loop,” he said. “One can imagine similar issues with determining it for a job, or credit-worthiness, or even face recognition and automated driving.”"

Thursday, February 15, 2018

IBM-Microsoft Spat Elevates Diversity to Tech-Secret Level; Bloomberg, February 12, 2018

Chris Dolmetsch, Bloomberg; IBM-Microsoft Spat Elevates Diversity to Tech-Secret Level

"While the lawsuit highlights the contention that can ensue when a senior employee bolts for a rival, it also shines a light on the increasing role that diversity measures play in corporate America. Technology and financial companies have reserved those fights in the past to employees who possessed key technical or strategic knowledge, not those entrusted to make decisions on hiring and the makeup of the workforce."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How To Make The Library More Inclusive; Sage Publishing via Library Journal, February 12, 2018

Karen Phillips,Sage Publishing via Library Journal; How To Make The Library More Inclusive

"In a new series that celebrates innovators in libraries across the U.S., I have the privilege of diving deeper into the work of a segment of the 2017 Movers & Shakers announced by Library Journal. This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with Cynthia Mari Orozco, a Librarian for Equitable Services at East Los Angeles College Library. Dedicated to making the library inviting for librarians and students of all backgrounds, Cynthia works to raise awareness of micro-aggressions in librarianship and library anxiety among students. Read her interview below to learn more about her efforts to make the library a space of refuge and community..."

In what ways can librarians help to reduce students’ library anxiety and make the library a welcoming place for the student?
Being kind, personable, and compassionate can go a long way. Before working in libraries, I spent years working in restaurants, and I think libraries can learn a lot about customer service and making patrons feel welcomed and appreciated. There are many small acts that go a long way. For example the 10/5 rule: whenever within 10 feet of a patron, make eye contact and smile; within five feet of a patron, eye contact, smile, and some sort of friendly greeting or gesture.
Librarians also need to understand their users, free from preconceived assumptions. Related to my first response, I was sheepishly telling some librarian colleagues that I didn’t know what “stacks” meant until I was in library school. I was relieved and slightly horrified to know that they had similar experiences! At the very least, you shouldn’t need to go to library school to know how to navigate a library’s physical and online spaces.
In 2014, you founded the LIS Microaggressions blog (LISM), a safe, anonymous space for users to submit descriptions of microaggressions expressed toward individuals from marginalized communities that occur within the library and information science field. Can you give us some examples of the microaggressions taking place in libraries?"

Sunday, February 11, 2018

'Trump doesn't understand history': Native Americans tell their story in DC; Guardian, February 11, 2018

David Smith, Guardian; 'Trump doesn't understand history': Native Americans tell their story in DC

"“Indians are less than 1% of the population. Yet images and names of Indians are everywhere. How is it that Indians can be so present and so absent in American life?”

This is the question posed by Americans, a new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, exploring how Native Americans have been central to America’s sense of itself even as they were systematically persecuted, marginalised and erased.

The myth-busting show contains an array of nearly 300 objects and images of Indians and Indian stereotypes. They include a Tomahawk flight-test missile, a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle, a Washington Redskins football team baby blanket, photos of presidents and celebrities wearing feather headdresses, footage from westerns and scale models of Chinook, Kiowa and Apache Longbow helicopters."

Jeremy Vine criticised after calling ‘Black Panther’ cast “overwhelmingly black”; NME, February 10, 2018

Larry Bartleet, NME; Jeremy Vine criticised after calling ‘Black Panther’ cast “overwhelmingly black”

"When stars Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) and Danai Gurira (Okoye) appeared on The One Show to discuss the film yesterday (February 9), Jeremy Vine said: “Chadwick, it is a remarkable film, it’s very different the film that you’re both in, because you go in the cinema and it is overwhelmingly a black cast.”

In response to Vine’s remark Boseman paused and smiled, responding: “Yeah, I guess that is very striking,” before joining in with an outbreak of laugher from the audience and continuing: “It’s weird because I’m used to it now, having been on this film for over a year, with this family of people… because we carried part of that cast into Infinity War. So it’s sort of a normal thing. I don’t go to work every day going: ‘Wow I’m around all these black people.'” The moment can be seen at the 16:25 mark on iPlayer.

On Twitter, Vine’s wording was labelled “strange and uncomfortable”. The man himself was called a “typical middle-aged white male” by one user, while another remarked: “no one called Avengers: Age of Ultron ‘overwhelmingly white'”, adding that the moment was “a stark example of racism being solidly entrenched”."

Watch This Jamaican Bobsledder’s Tearful Plea For Diversity At Winter Olympics; HuffPost, February 10, 2018

Ron Dicker, HuffPost; Watch This Jamaican Bobsledder’s Tearful Plea For Diversity At Winter Olympics

"Diversity is as good as gold, according to a member of the Jamaican Bobsled Team.

Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian told a Winter Olympics press conference in Pyeonchang, South Korea, on Saturday how important it was for children to see reflections of themselves in sport. 

It’s critical that “little girls and little boys see someone that looks like them, talks like them, has the same culture as them, has crazy, curly hair and wears a natural, has brown skin, included in different things in this world,” Fenlator-Victorian said, fighting tears. “When you grow up and you don’t see that, you feel that you can’t do it. And that is not right.”"

Fox News pulls executive's column on U.S. Olympic team diversity; Politico, February 9, 2018

Cristiano Lima, Politico; Fox News pulls executive's column on U.S. Olympic team diversity

"Fox News on Friday pulled from its website an opinion piece by its executive vice president that accused the Olympic Committee of seeking to make the athletic event “darker, gayer, different,” with the network saying it “did not reflect” its views or values.

In the since-deleted column, which was published on Wednesday, John Moody, Fox News’ executive editor and executive vice president, railed against the U.S. Olympic Committee for saying that it had drawn the “most diverse U.S. squad ever to the Winter Olympics” in South Korea...

A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement on Friday that “Moody’s column does not reflect the views or values of FOX News and has been removed.”"

Friday, February 9, 2018

In 'Black Panther,' a superhero who finally looks like me; Washington Post, February 9, 2018

David Betancourt, Washington Post; In 'Black Panther,' a superhero who finally looks like me

""Black Panther" brings to life Marvel's greatest black superhero. For The Post's David Betancourt, this has been a long time coming."

Advance Review: X-MEN - RED #1 Brings 'Compassion, Warmth, & Clear Purpose to JEAN GREY's Mission' (8/10); Newsarama, February 1, 2018

David Pepose, Newsarama; Advance Review: X-MEN - RED #1 Brings 'Compassion, Warmth, & Clear Purpose to JEAN GREY's Mission' (8/10)

"Call me a traditionalist, but whenever the X-Men seem to veer away from their central mission - about the peaceful coexistence of man and mutant - the franchise winds up getting stuck in its own idiosyncrasies. And while jaunts into space and time have led to fun wrinkles like the Shi’ar or the Age of Apocalypse, let’s be clear - those are detours to the X-Men’s central themes of diversity and inclusiveness. So it’s refreshing to see Taylor tackle these ideas head-on, with perhaps an unlikely lead - Jean Grey. For so many years, she’s been framed as either Scott Summers’ love interest or a WMD-in-waiting, but Taylor takes a new angle on the character: Jean not just as a telepath, but as a thinker. She’s had a second chance on life, but the world has only gotten darker since she last walked among the living - and thanks to her innate mutant abilities, Jean’s able to bring together ideas, countries, and teammates in a way that feels ambitious and inspiring."

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Diversifying Comics Episode 22 looks at diversity and representation in comic books; American Libraries, February 6, 2018

American Libraries; Dewey Decibel Podcast: Diversifying ComicsEpisode 22 looks at diversity and representation in comic books

"In Episode 22, Dewey Decibel features two people who are bringing more diverse voices and representation to the comic book world and libraries.

First, Dewey Decibel host and American Libraries Associate Editor Phil Morehart talks with G. Willow Wilson, the writer of the Ms. Marvel series. She discusses the inspiration behind the character Kamala Khan, the first Muslim-American superhero at Marvel to have her own comic, and why diverse comics are essential to creating a true representation of the world.

Next, American Libraries Associate Editor Terra Dankowski speaks with Mara Thacker, a librarian at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) who curates the library’s collection of South Asian comics. Thacker discusses the UIUC comics and tips librarians can use to diversify their own collections."

Friday, February 2, 2018

Open science: Sharing is caring, but is privacy theft? by David Mehler and Kevin Weiner; PLOS Neuro Community Blog, January 31, 2018

Emilie Reas, PLOS Neuro Community Blog; Open science: Sharing is caring, but is privacy theft? by David Mehler and Kevin Weiner

"As we are actively figuring out the balance between transparency and collaboration in research, we thought it was worth reaching out to six of our colleagues who have thought extensively about OS. We hope that additional scientists will weigh in with further insight regarding this balance not only in human brain mapping, but also in other scientific fields.
Specifically, we asked them: What are the main challenges in moving toward Open Science and how can we meet them? Here are their responses:
Change is coming. Before we continue, let’s define some terms for potential readers: Open Science is an umbrella term that can mean different things to different people. Open access research allows everyone to learn from scientific work (particularly that paid for by the tax payer). Open educational resources mean we don’t re-invent the wheel when we teach others about our work. Open source materials are ones that allow you to see inside, and improve, the black box. Open dataallows researchers to verify our work, and conduct analyses that could not be carried out by one group alone.
Open Science also means open to everyone. We can use the power of curious non-experts through Citizen Science projects. The Open Neuroimaging Laboratory was a finalist for the Open Science Prizeand sought to “lower the barriers for researchers, students, and citizen scientists to help scientific discovery”. We can look to other neuroscience projects such as Eye Wire and FoldIt for inspiration in the future.
Finally, Open Science means open for all. Whose voices are not currently represented well in our field of study? Who is not advancing to tenured positions? How do we ensure that researchers in the developing world are able to contribute to our quest to understand the human brain? All of the open practices above facilitate the inclusion of under-represented minorities, but it will require ongoing focus and consideration to create an equitable community. That’s my biggest challenge: addressing my implicit (and explicit) biases to ensure we have bigger, better and more diverse ideas in the future.
I would like to live in a world where helping to advance the boundary of scientific knowledge is rewarded through new findings and by confirming (or not) already published results irrespective of who owns the data.”"

How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance; Harvard Business Review, January 30, 2018

  • Rocio Lorenzo and 
  • Martin Reeves,
  • Harvard Business Review; How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance

    "Diversity is both an issue of fairness and, some say, a driver of innovation and performance. To assess the latter claim, we undertook a large, cross-country study into the relationship between multiple aspects of managerial diversity, the presence of enabling conditions such as leadership support for diversity, and innovation outcomes.

    We surveyed more than 1,700 companies across eight countries (the U.S., France, Germany, China, Brazil, India, Switzerland, and Austria) and a variety of industries and company sizes, examining diversity in management positions, measured with respect to gender, age, national origin, career path, industry background, and education...

    When we looked at the enabling conditions for diversity, including fair employment practices (such as equal pay), participative leadership, top management support for diversity, and open communication practices, less than 40% of firms employed them. And not surprisingly, firms that had such practices in place had better diversity scores, and as a result better innovation performance. This strongly suggests that diversity represents a tangible missed opportunity and significant potential upside for most companies. In total, the presence of these enabling factors is worth up to 12.9% points of innovation revenue." 

    Sunday, January 28, 2018

    Black Panther’s Shuri Is the Genius Movies Need Right Now; Comic Book Resources, January 27, 2018

    Hannah Collins, Comic Book Resources; Black Panther’s Shuri Is the Genius Movies Need Right Now

    "“As far as the technologically advanced side, in our mind, and in our incarnation, Shuri is the head of the Wakanda Design Group,” Moore explained of Shuri’s role during a Black Panther set visit. “She’s the smartest person in the world, smarter than Tony Stark, but she’s a 16-year-old girl, which we thought was really interesting. Again, black faces in positions of power or positions of technological know-how, that’s a rarity. So it’s something that’s a big part of the film.”

    There are plenty of strong, smart black women in superhero comics — Storm, Spectrum, Amanda Waller and Misty Knight, for starters — but super-intelligent ones who can rival the genre’s heaviest intellectual hitters are few and far between. That isn’t a problem exclusive to comics, though. When we think of a stereotypical genius in any medium — comics, prose, television, film — we tend to envision a white man. Upon further deliberation, we might conjure a white woman, or a black man. But a black woman? While superhero comics aren’t solely to blame for that, it doesn’t mean the industry can shirk the responsibility of tackling the problem, especially when the likes of Marvel and DC Comics wield such mighty cultural influence at the moment. In fact, Marvel has made a pointed effort to rectify that disproportion in recent years with the introduction of Riri Williams and Moon Girl, the latter of whom now holds the title of smartest person in the Marvel Comics universe; Letitia Wright’s Shuri will ascend to that throne in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Black Panther premieres next month."