USENIX Statement on Racism and Black, African-American, and African Diaspora Inclusion


We at USENIX assert that Black lives matter. We stand with the Black community, including all those who are Black, African American, or members of the larger African Diaspora. We categorically reject racism, hate, violence, and inequity and have a responsibility to work towards ending the institutional racism that allows these intolerable things to thrive. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach in our mission to support the advanced computing systems communities and do not tolerate harassment of our event participants in any form.

We also acknowledge that this is not enough and we must do more.

Like the computing industry it supports, USENIX has historically been a predominately white organization, and our efforts to increase general diversity amongst underrepresented minorities have been unsuccessful in combating systemic racism and increasing the specific representation of Black technologists within our community. We recognize that we must change our approach and explicitly tailor inclusion efforts to Black engineers and researchers in order to move the needle.

Going forward, the USENIX Association will commit to:

  • Increasing representation and inclusion of Black people at our conferences by taking steps including but not limited to:

    • Ensuring that every conference has Black representatives on the list of program committee candidates
    • Having a USENIX Campus Representative at each Historically Black College and University with a Computer Science program and performing tailored outreach for our academic conferences
    • Ensuring that every conference invites Black speakers/authors to present
    • Providing conference grants specifically for Black attendees
    • Developing guidelines for conference organizers on how to increase inclusion of Black attendees at our events
  • Increasing representation of Black authors in our written publications by actively soliciting specific authors from the Black computing community
  • Modifying our conference and magazine submission guidelines to eliminate discriminatory language such as master/slave, blackhat/whitehat, blacklist/whitelist from our events and publications
  • Increasing Black representation amongst the USENIX staff by posting new staff roles in areas serving Black communities
  • Ensuring that every USENIX Board Nominating Committee actively seeks Black candidates for the slate of nominations
  • Using USENIX’s academic and industry conference networks to promote computing technology events and opportunities organized by and for Black people
  • Providing quarterly updates to the community about the efficacy of these efforts, because promises without accountability are empty gestures

In addition to these internal actions, USENIX also calls on the entire computing field, both academic and industry, to join us and:

  • Increase Black representation and inclusion at your organization, especially in leadership
  • Remove implicit racial bias in your HR processes
  • Remove racist language from your products
  • Eliminate the many negative impacts to the Black community caused by the products and systems created by the entire computing field, both academic and industry

We recognize that eliminating systemic racism is difficult, we do not have all the answers, and we will make mistakes as we learn and grow. We commit to actively listening and improving our efforts over time, and the Committee welcomes any additional suggestions at

Black lives matter.

Signed by the USENIX Committee for Black, African-American, and African Diaspora Inclusion on behalf of the USENIX Board of Directors and staff:
Kurt Andersen, USENIX Board Member at Large
Theophilus A. Benson, Brown University
Casey Henderson, USENIX Executive Director
Tadayoshi Kohno, University of Washington
James Mickens, Harvard University
Brian Noble, University of Michigan, USENIX Board President Emeritus
Laura Nolan, USENIX Board Member at Large Elect
Tameika Reed, Women In Linux
Amy Rich, USENIX Board President Elect
Carolyn Rowland, USENIX Board President
Hakim Weatherspoon, Cornell University, USENIX Board Vice President

Signed by USENIX members:
Clement T Cole
Margo Seltzer
Cat Allman, Google
Derek Balling
Rudi Van Drunen, Xlexit
Norman Wilson
Steve VanDevender
Can Acar
Ananth PackkilDurai
Angela Demke Brown
Andrew Huth
Ryan Stutsman, University of Utah
Michael Paoli
Eric Eide, University of Utah
Brian Haug
Jeff McClellan
Robert Fabian
Larry Rudolph
Susan Gray
Aaron Sterr
Matt Smiley
Shinsuke Miwa
Zenko Klapko Jr