2018 Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon Outcomes: Best Practices to Teach About Race and Genomics

About the Hackathon
The APSA Presidential Task Force on Women’s Advancement held a Diversity and Inclusion Hackathon at the 2018 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Boston, chaired by Mala Htun and Alvin B. Tillery, Jr.  At the hackathon, teams developed strategies to address key challenges facing the profession, build partnerships, and plans to move forward. This series of PSNow posts highlights those proposals and links to more resources for the profession.

* * *

Best Practices to Teach About Race and Genomics, including videos, reading lists, topics, and tips to interpret genetic results!


  1. The percentages you see is the match between your genes and the reference population that may have lived in that region
  2. The accuracy of these references depend on the number of reference populations in the sample.
  3. African and Asian groups are underrepresented
  4. It’s not a genealogy of your family
  5. You should not make racial decisions based on these findings.
  6. There is a barrier to entry given the cost of the kits and slightly more participants have self-reported as White.

Related (course) topics: 

  • Misunderstandings about genetics
  • Understanding Diaspora/colonialism
  • Racial essentialism/how we learn about ancestry/social identity
    • confirmation/disruption of familial folklore
  • Normative concerns
    • Reifying race biology
    • Eugenics
    • Ideas of belonging
    • Communalism/separatism
    • Ideas of “truth”
  • Positionality
    • Personal identity
  • Biological race
    • Geographic origin
  • Social realities
    • Racial performance
    • Group consciousness
    • Local context
  • Legality
    • Privacy
    • Technology policy
    • Regulation and regulatory agencies
    • Policing and criminal justice
    • Pharmacology
    • Ownership of genetic/biological data
    • Indigenous sovereignty/group claims
  • US racial policy/institutional race and the law
    • 1 drop rule
    • Federally recognized tribes
      • Blood quantum
      • Dawes Rolls
    • Chinese Exclusion
    • Anglo-Saxon identity
  • US Census


Hackathon Team Members: Niambi Carter and Christina Greer.