Techlandia Issue 5- 2021/2022 - Page 9



Too often, we treat technology as tools-to-be-used and not as tools-to-be-made. This makes youth feel technology is outside their power to influence or change. For a community to build autonomy, it needs access to tools that it can control, modify,  and use as it wants.

BIPOC youth rarely see members of their community as STEAM educators or experts. To help youth connect to STEAM futures, they need representation by members of the community who look as they do, come from many backgrounds, and share lived experiences of social and racial injustices.

Traditional science-first approaches do not offer meaningful and relevant connections to BIPOC community knowledge, creativity, and daily lives. We emphasize the A in STEAM because art, literature, and music provide an alternative path that is inherently more accessible and less alienating.

STEAM programs delivered from outside BIPOC communities are too dependent on dominant norms and too far away. We must build a community system of accessible, sustainable, and high-quality STEAM opportunities. Programs must be created, owned, directed, and produced by BIPOC communities in partnership with trusted allies committed to equity, inclusion, access, and accountability.