Race, Power, and Colonialism in Tech - Call for Speakers

Call for speakers for our upcoming November evening of community talks!

There is a growing conversation around the lack of diversity in Toronto’s tech industry, but far fewer conversations on how technologies perpetuate systems of racism and colonialism.On November 12, IntersectTO will be hosting an evening of community talks on race, power, and colonialism in technology, by and for BIPOC communities.

The evening will consist of a series of "lighting talks": short, snappy, ~5-7 minute talks. We are currently looking for 5-6 people who identify as BIPOC in the GTA to participate as lightning talk speakers.

Call for speakers

We invite folks in the GTA who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or as People of Colour to propose lightning talks. You do not need to work in technology to propose a talk—though proposed topics should be be related to the intersections of technology, race, power, and/or colonialism. We particularly encourage, and will prioritize, submissions from BIPOC folks who identify as Black, Indigenous, women, non-binary, trans, and/or queer.

Each accepted speaker will have a maximum of 10 minutes for their talk; the 10 minutes is inclusive of Q&A time and speakers can divide the time as they wish. Accepted speakers will be provided with an honorarium of $40.

Topic prompts

  • In what ways do certain technologies harm racialized communities?

  • Are design practices rooted in colonial ideology? (e.g. ethnographic research practices in UX) What are the implications?

  • How do data-driven practices contribute to white supremacy?

  • What kinds of knowledge or ways of knowing are accepted as “technology” or “innovation”?

  • What do Indigenous-led technologies look like?

  • How might we work together towards a decolonized Internet?

*These are simply suggestions to get you thinking - we’ll take topics outside these prompts that fall under the realm of technology, power, race, and colonialism.

Want to submit a proposal? Here's how!

Interested potential speakers should submit a short summary of their proposed talk, as well as a short speaker bio using this google form.

Summaries must not exceed 250 words, and bios should not exceed 150 words.

The deadline for submissions is the October 9, 2018, 11:59pm EST. We will notify folks by October 17th at the latest on whether their talk is selected.

Event Date and Location

The event will take place at a TTC-accessible location in downtown Toronto on Monday November 12, from 7pm-9pm.

We are in the process of finalizing our venue location and will update this page once the venue has been confirmed.


This event is supported by a Digital Rights Community Grant. The Digital Rights Community Grants are a collaboration between the Digital Justice Lab, Tech Reset Canada, and the Centre for Digital Rights.


If you have any questions or comments, you can reach our organizing team at intersectto@gmail.com