There are two reasons why I feel honored and humbled by the invitation to join the 100 brilliant women in AI Ethics Summit, organized by Lighthouse3 and an amazing team under the leadership of my dear and respected friend Mia Dand. The first reason is obvious. I am a white middle-aged male (human/he/him) and as such at the other side of privileges and exclusion. Sitting behind my comfortable desk, being a member of the dominant power in most societies around the globe, I do not have the words to express my gratitude for being welcomed in this wonderful group of human beings. Learning and being reminded of what it means to be at the other side of where I am.
There is however a second reason why I am humbled and honored to be invited for this summit and community of fantastic, dedicated people. I am the son of Holocaust survivors. My entire family was once at the opposite side of privilege and exclusion from where I am in today’s society. None but two, my parents, survived being at the wrong side of oppression, exclusion, termination. Although the world made a clear commitment that “NIE WIEDER” would make sure this would never happen again, the roots of this hatred that unlived 79 lives of my family is still embedded deeply in this society. Our society! 79 lives unlived. Grandfathers and grandmothers, aunts and uncles, and nephews and nieces, the lively family that should surround me is a dark empty void.
The amazingly talented Oglála Lakȟóta performance artist Kite aka Suzanne Kite shared parts of her art and work to express the values of the indigenous people of America, and with that what it means when sacred indigenous culture is vandalized by the domination powers. Kite is one of the very few left of her tribe, as I am one of very few left of my tribe so to speak. I am humbled by the fighting spirit of Kite. I am grateful for her strength and dedication to once more remind me that exclusion and oppression are part of our systems. I am honored to be allowed to join Kite’s journey through her sacred culture.
This was just one session in an eye-opening and inspiring 3-day event. An event in which we could all witness the destructive impact of underrepresentation. The destructive impact of a society in which privilege and oppression go hand in hand. Different color? Out! Different believes? Out! Different gender? Out! Handicapped? Out! A society which is still based on us and them, where them is just not us, and us believing that this gives us the right to oppress them.
Underrepresentation is the word I take with me from the 100 brilliant women in AI Ethics Summit, and all the consequences of underrepresentation. Kite reminded me of what my beloved mother always said. “It is all of us, not some of us”. Thank you, Kite. Thank you, Mia. Thank you, all wonderful organizers, volunteers, and participants of 100 brilliant women in AI Ethics Summit.
Find out more about 100 brilliant women in AI Ethics here: https://linktr.ee/LH3