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  • Gabriela T. Richard

Named a 2019 Belfer Fellow, ADL's Center for Technology and Society

I am incredibly honored to announce that I was named a Belfer Fellow as part of the ADL Center for Technology and Society's second cohort. The fellowship progam is sponsored by the Robert Belfer Family. The Center is located in silicon valley, California, and their technology advisory board includes leaders from academia, government and industry. According to their site, the Center "examines the issue globally — since platforms have no borders — and brings a proactive approach to fighting cyberhate: Working in partnership with industry, government, academia, and non-profit groups to develop smart strategies and practical solutions to address today’s biggest challenges." (See the link for more about CTS).

According to the ADL, "ADL’s Center for Technology and Society will work with the new fellows as they pursue research in previously unexplored areas. The fellows will also augment ADL’s ongoing research efforts to help quantify and qualify online hate in a variety of social media sites, gaming platforms and other fringe online communities. As ADL continues to work on multiple fronts to make the online space less hateful, the fellows’ research will expand upon this expertise and activity."

I will be working closely with CTS on my ongoing research and new projects related to exploring, understanding and addressing exclusionary practices (directed primarily at minoritized groups) and inclusive design in gaming, esports and livestreaming. I'm quoted in Penn State News on the fellowship and project: "I am honored... to engage, not only in research, but conversations on how policy and industry can move forward in addressing complex issues around design and inclusive engagement. Research in the field, including my own, has demonstrated how powerful digital and analog (or nondigital) games can be for engaging in a variety of content, as well as socio-cultural knowledge. Nondigital games such as board games, cards, dominoes, hopscotch, basketball, etc. have been used in every documented culture in the world to transmit cultural ideas, values, practices and knowledge systems. However, gaming, particularly online gaming, also has demonstrated how design decisions and unfettered interactions can lead to some systemic hostile and exclusionary acts, particularly against women, girls, ethnic and racial minoritized groups, and queer and trans players. It has been an honor to learn that ADL has read my research and is interested in continuing to support it as it expands into esports and livestreaming, both of which represent a monumental shift from gaming as intimately participatory to a form of widespread viewership and entertainment for those who may or may not play."

More information about the Belfer Fellowship can be found here:

The official announcement of the second cohort by ADL can be found here, and the Penn State news story can be found at this link.

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