Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Understanding Digital Literacy for Job Search for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

26 Oct
Wednesday, 10/26/2022 12:20pm to 1:20pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151 or Zoom
Rising Stars
Speaker: Ihudiya Finda Williams

Abstract: Formerly incarcerated people, also known as "returning citizens," face a number of obstacles during reentry, and job search is one of the critical issues. While job search can be difficult for most people, returning citizens face additional obstacles due to their criminal records, gaps in employment, and inexperience with the search process. These challenges are compounded by the fact that, increasingly, job search involves digital elements, and returning citizens - especially those returning from long sentences - have limited digital literacy. 

In this talk, I will present the outcomes and preliminary findings from three studies that sought to understand returning citizens' engagement with digital technology, specific challenges that they face during job search, and potential interventions that could alleviate those challenges. Though other groups (e.g., older adults, novice users of technology) also have difficulties with digital literacy, returning citizens face unique challenges.

Bio: Ihudiya Finda Williams is a doctoral candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Her research examines digital technology use among populations with low resources due to systemic injustices, and explores tech-enabled solutions to either highlight injustices or find future alternatives. Her current research focuses on the digital literacy development of individuals who are formerly incarcerated in the Detroit metropolitan area. She is an alumnus of Harvard Graduate School of Education and Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to becoming a doctoral student, she worked as a software engineer and product manager in various sectors of industry including Booz Allen Hamilton, Uplift Education Charter School, and the US. Department of State. Ihudiya Finda has published work at CHI and CSCW.

A pizza lunch for attendees will be available at 11:45 a.m. in CS 150.

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