Category Archives: Detroit

Women of Color and Technology in the Economy: The Auto Industry

Today, January 14th marks the start of the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. I’ve lived in Detroit my entire 21 years in life. In addition, Detroit has hosted an auto show for over a century. In 1987, the show officially became international in it’s scope and mission. However with this event, when it comes to women, we are easily reminded how technology is traditionally shaped by societal views.  In the article “Feminist theories of technology” by Judy Wacjman, she argued “it is imperative that women are involved throughout the processes and practices of technological innovation.” In response, I agree because how can we truly build an international movement when the voices of 50% of the population are no where to be heard?

With women and person’s of color being least likely to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering, and math it is expected to realize that they are exceedingly behind in global economy when it comes to technology. After viewing the Committee’s history, it is imperative to note that practically there hasn’t been very little, if any women or people of color who has helped with the organization of the event as a chairwoman or a position of higher power. I agree to Wajcman argument in which she states the ways in which technology is shaped by societal “gender relations.” Let us imagine, how the Floor Models who are viewed as tools and also the ways in which each has personally encountered some form of the gender stereotypes and stigmas of women contributions often associated with involvement in the auto industry. I would like to also challenge one to address the argument in how “masculinity and femininity in turn acquire their meaning and character through their…embeddedness in working machines”

At the International Auto Show, women do seem to be viewed as “tools” because their beauty helps market the cars and attract the attention of potential clients, buyers, and investors. There are sexualized, exploited, and put up for sale as a marketing tool. In fact, it is very politically strategic in nature. However, the people who are in charge and in control are considered the master minds which happens to be traditionally white wealthy influential men.

Browse the site http://www.naias.com/, and judge for yourself whether you think the news releases, videos and images pertaining to the 2013 show invite women’s engagement, and if so in what ways — for example as designers, engineers, consumers, or marketing models?

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Women: Green Economy and the Environment.

The new generation is approaching. We can expect a substantial shift in politics, education, and our economy. As a social entrepreneur, one of my deepest passions is to help develop new innovative ideas and strategies to help combat some of the world’s most challenging problems. Recently, I’ve created an organization to do just that. The objective of my endeavors are to address multiple social justice issues that communities of color and women are facing today and beyond.

Hope for Green stands for “Having Only Positive Expectations for Grass Root Energy and Environment Networking.” It is a network that educates and empowers young women of color to increase their leadership capabilities in the Green Economy. It is an intersectional approach of gender equity, education, increasing women’s leadership, economic development, and environmental justice. The Network officially launches Summer 2013.

Studies have shown that Environmental justice increasingly has multiple impacts on the lives of women and communities of color. In Michigan, a study was presented by Rep. Rashida Talib in November, and it reported that Black and Latina women along different parts of metro- Detroit were disproportionately suffering from rare forms of cancer because of exposure to toxins from coal burning plants. In Louisiana, I witnessed in my position as a Community Partner with Red Cross, a low-income single Black mother lose everything she had over the course of a weekend because of intense flooding and the shrinking shoreline, while white families from Suburban areas with little damage were helped first handedly in hours. In Washington DC, many women who lived in lower-income areas suffered the intense flooding of Hurricane Sandy and had to call off of their demanding office jobs because they were stuck at home nursing their children back to health and restoring their homes to somewhat normal conditions.

During these economic times, it’s challenging for women to find a stable job with benefits that can actually support their family. We need to produce jobs right here in our Nation and protect the health our communities. My resolution in 2013 is to make sure women of color have equal access to jobs, education, and health. Stay Tuned for the movement!