2022 Annual Race Equality Lecture

Beyond Buzzwords: Opening the Anti-Black Box of Technology & Society

This year the Race Equality Lecture will be given by Professor Ruha Benjamin from Princeton University and hosted by Professor Kamal Munir, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for University Community and Engagement.


From workplace automation to healthcare algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and deepen discrimination and amplify inequities, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. In this talk, Ruha Benjamin takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with historical and sociological insight.

Drawing on her most recent book, Viral Justice, Ruha also introduces a microvision of change — a way of looking at the everyday ways people are working to combat unjust systems and building alternatives to the oppressive status quo. Born of a stubborn hopefulness and grounded in social analysis, she offers a principled and pragmatic approach to fostering a more just and joyful world.

This talk is also available via Live Streaming on Zoom. To book a virtual place please use this link

Copies of ‘Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want’ will be available to purchase in the foyer.

Date and time

Wed, 2 November 2022, 17:30 – 18:30 GMT

Location: Selwyn College, Cambridge Grange Road Cambridge CB3 9DQ

Ruha Benjamin is Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab, author of the award-winning book Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code and the recently published book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want among other publications.

Her work investigates the social dimensions of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and inequity, health and justice, knowledge and power. Ruha is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation Freedom Scholar Award, and the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. For more, please visit www.ruhabenjamin.com.