Special guest speakers
Kathleen Weldon (she/her) is the Director of Data Operations and Communications at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University, USA. Kathleen manages data provider relations, oversees the data curation process, plans archival development, and works closely with the IT development team in building new user tools.
Kathleen is committed to promoting the informed use of historical public opinion data and builds tools to assist researchers in finding and understanding these data. As part of the Roper Center’s efforts to support the understanding of Black American public opinion and increase diversity in the field of survey research, she has developed multiple user guides to researching racial issues in U.S. polling.
Jackie is Professor of Statistical Literacy at The University of Manchester, UK, and the Academic Lead for EDI Disability. She has received UK awards as a One in Twenty Women in Data and National Teaching Fellows. She writes and speaks internationally about the Data Fellows programme she has pioneered which creates opportunities for undergraduates, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented groups, to gain paid work placements in data and tech industries. Her current role as the Disability academic lead for the University of Manchester is opening up opportunities to ask questions about how inclusive Higher Education actually is, and whether we have access to the data we need to make informed decisions for our staff and students.
In this fireside chat she will reflect how she ‘became’ a disabled person in mid-career and provoke discussion about how data professions could be a wonderfully inclusive place if only we opened them even more to those with disabilities and ensure age is not a barrier.
Kirsten Thorpe (Worimi, Port Stephens, she/her) is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Indigenous Research Fellow at Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Kirsten leads the Indigenous Archives and Data Stewardship Hub, which advocates for Indigenous rights in archives and data, including the ‘right of reply’ to records. and develops research and engagement in relation to refiguring libraries and archives to support the culturally appropriate ownership, management and ongoing preservation of Indigenous knowledges. Her ultimate aim is to empower Indigenous people to exercise rights of ownership and control over data to inform self-determined priorities and goals.
Prior to her move to academia, Kirsten gained extensive experience working in major collecting institutions across public libraries and archives to support Indigenous engagement and priorities. She was the Manager, Indigenous Services at the State Library of New South Wales, where she led the development of strategies supporting state-wide information services for Indigenous people. During this period, Kirsten also contributed to national and international dialogue on Indigenous archival practices publishing extensively in academic journals and scholarly literature.
Erik Larson (he/him) currently serves as Deputy Director of LGBT Affairs for the City of Philadelphia, USA. In this role, Erik has successfully advocated for the collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) data among the city’s 30,000+ member workforce. As a result of this initiative, he has worked alongside the Mayor’s Policy team to develop comprehensive guidelines for supporting members of the city’s workforce who are transitioning on the job.
As the City of Philadelphia continues to make history as a progressive leader for our LGBTQ+ communities, and as anti-LGB and trans legislation has reached an all-time high in recent years, the city is proud to use data to inform its policies and practices in creating more inclusive, supportive, and safer spaces for LGBTQ+ people.
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