By Nicole Cheah, MND Journalism Undergraduate | February 5, 2024
Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian, founding director of CODE^SHIFT (Collaboratory for Data Equity, Social Healing, Inclusive Futures, and Transformation), began the Spring 2024 semester by representing Syracuse University and the Newhouse school at two universities in Michigan this past week.
She began with a talk on “Data Justice: Quantitative Criticalism for Social Justice” on January 24, at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. The event was organized by the Quantitative Methods in the Social Science (QMSS) department in the University’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA). Dr. Ramasubramanian spoke on the key dimensions of communication scholar-activism, which included being action oriented, interdisciplinary, and challenging the status quo. She also spoke on the major initiatives she has worked on, and her published work on quantitative research methods.
On Thursday, she shared her expertise on humanizing data in a complex era of artificial intelligence, at a presentation hosted by the LSA’s Communication and Media department. The talk was part of their ongoing Communication and Media speaker series. Dr. Ramasubramanian highlighted how interlocking systems of oppression, such as heteropatriarchy and coloniality, have taken root and negatively manifested in our current AI-driven society. To resist this, she called for the use of humanizing, equity-minded, and community-centered data.
Dr. Ramasubramanian ended her week at Michigan State University. On Friday morning, she gave a talk on the role of communication in building inclusive communities. The event, which was organized by the university’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences and WKAR Public Media, saw numerous employees in attendance in-person and virtually. Dr. Ramasubramanian emphasized the importance of creating spaces for marginalized groups, and advised the audience on how to create communication theory-driven, inclusive spaces in their workplaces. To conclude her presentation, Dr. Ramasubramanian encouraged the audience to put the event’s learning points into action by pursuing purposeful, systemic changes in their work.
" I first met Srivi when we both worked at TAMU and I was fascinated by her work with DEI and difficult dialogues. Since then, we’ve each gone our separate ways, me to the Midwest and Srivi to the East coast, but we have always stayed connected, reflecting on how much we miss the sun but how much our careers have grown.
So when Srivi said she’s visiting the other Michigan school in Ann Arbor, I made sure she saw ALL of mid-Michigan and brought her to MSU.
@drsrivi Thank you so much for honoring us with your presence, your brilliance, and your humility. Let’s do it again when it’s not snowing. "
~ Dr. Amanda Flores, MSU
" We had an amazing turnout. I'm pretty sure you forever changed how they think about data, where it comes from, and how you can do more than just describe, explain, or predict. Thank you for offering so much of your time to undergraduates! "
~ Dr. Jan van den Bulck, Director of QMSS at UMich
"I am a big fan of your work, and I really enjoyed hearing about the lab community that you are building at Syracuse."
~ Dr. Matea Mustafaj, Department of Communication and Media, UMich, email
Photo Credit: Dr. Srivi Ramasubramanian