Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the 2019 Esri UC

The GIS of today is one that incorporates the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusivity into its foundation. By bringing these principles into our GIS community, we can make the world a better place, creating a space for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive.

At the 2019 Esri User Conference in San Diego (July 8th – 12th), we invite you to participate in the activities focused on these principles. Connect with the geospatial community to learn about how GIS is used to promote diversity, equity, & inclusion, network with peers, and get inspired by one of the many amazing speakers lined up. To make it easy for you to pick out the right sessions, Esri’s Women’s Empowerment & Career Advancement Network (WeCan) pulled together a list of all the events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion happening at the User Conference this year.

Expo Hall

At the 2019 Esri UC, visit the UC Expo to meet with several amazing exhibitors who promote the principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

Women in GIS – visit Booth #2412 to learn more about ‘WiGIS’, an international, professional, and social advocacy group for women and their allies.

National Tribal GIS – stop by the the Sustainable World area of the expo to connect with Tribal GIS, a group working to establish “The Best Practices and Standards for Geographic Information Systems within Indian Country”.

The UC Expo Hall will be open:

Tuesday, July 9th 9:00 AM–6:00 PM

Wednesday, July 10th 9:00 AM–6:00 PM

Thursday, July 11th 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Women and GIS @ the Map Gallery Reception

Women and GIS: Mapping Their Stories tells the tales of how 23 women applied themselves and overcame obstacles, using maps, analysis, and geographic information systems (GIS) to contribute to their professions and the world. Sharing the experiences of their childhoods, the misstarts and challenges they faced, and the lessons they learned, each story is a celebration of a woman’s unique path and of the perseverance and hard work it takes to achieve success. This year at the User Conference Map Gallery Reception, Esri will have a special exhibit showcasing Women and GIS, with the opportunity to meet some of the women featured in the book. Stop by to get your copy of the book signed, discuss the book’s themes, and more.

This event will take place on Monday, July 8th, from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM in the Sail Area of the San Diego Convention Center.

Focused Career Development Sessions

Throughout the conference, attend sessions focused on career development. Esri’s Young Professionals Network will be hosting three of these sessions during the week – one focused on “mapping” your career and focusing on your passion, where Sophia Garcia from the Dolores Huerta Foundation will discuss mapping social justice.  Another session hosted by YPN will discuss how to advocate and promote yourself (even when it might seem tricky). And before you head over to the Thursday night party, stop by YPNX5! This session celebrates YPN’s fifth anniversary, and will highlight the work of Young Professionals in GIS.

In addition to the YPN focused career development sessions, Esri’s Women’s Empowerment & Career Advancement Network (WeCan) is excited to present the AMA (Ask Me Anything): Women and GIS Panel at the conference. This session will feature a panel of influential women from different industries and professions within the GIS community, some of which are featured in Esri’s Women and GIS book. These leaders will discuss how they make a difference in their organizations by meeting challenges, empowering others, and leading with passion.  Panel attendees will also learn about Black Girls MAPP, a new initiative that connects and empowers women of color in the field of GIS, and enables the black community to solve problems through GIS related projects.

Tuesday, July 9
8:30am YPN: Mapping Your Passion SDCC, Room 30 E
Wednesday, July 10
10:00am AMA: Women and GIS Panel SDCC, Ballroom 06 E
1:00pm YPN – Advocating & Promoting Yourself SDCC, Room 29 B
Thursday, July 11
2:30pm YPNX5 SDCC, Room 05 B

Special Interest Group Meetings

Special Interest Groups – or SIGs—are communities within a larger organization with a shared interest in advancing a specific area of knowledge, learning, or technology. Every year, the Esri UC supports dozens of SIG meetups, both technical and non-technical. SIGs are a great way to network with your peers and learn something new. We encourage you to check out and participate in one of several SIG meetups focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, highlighted below.

Tuesday, July 9
11:30am Tribal / Indigenous – SIG SDCC, Room 25 A
5:30pm Blacks in GIS – SIG SDCC, Room 24 A
Wednesday, July 10
11:30am Women in GIS – SIG SDCC, Ballroom 06 D
11:30am Statistics – SIG SDCC, Room 25 A
11:30am IT Accessibility (Section 508/WCAG + ADA) – SIG SDCC, Room 28 A

Social & Networking Events

Don’t forget to take some time at the end of the day to unwind – during the conference, there are many opportunities to socialize and network with your peers at events focused on your peer group in a relaxed setting.

Sunday, July 7
5:00pm YPN Welcome Social Marriott-Coronado Terrace
Monday, July 8
4:00pm Women and GIS Social SDCC, West Terrace (Upper Level)
9:00pm HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Unis) GIS User Group Meetup 675 L St, San Diego, CA 92101
Wednesday, July 10
5:30pm Women in GIS Local Chapters SDCC, Room 27 B
6:00pm YPN Evening Social Hilton – Pool Terrace

Demo Theater & User Presentations

Networking and social events are fantastic ways to get inspired – but it is also important to learn how GIS can be used to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. During the conference, attend a Demo Theater presentation or User Presentation to learn specifically how GIS can be applied to these principles.

Demo Theater sessions are 45-minute technical sessions led by Esri staff, where focused “how to’s” are shared on the execution of specific GIS tasks. These sessions are focused on the technical components of GIS, rather than concepts. On Tuesday and Wednesday, you can join Theater presentations on Social Equity, learn about Valuation Workflows within ArcGIS, focus on leveraging policy maps, and how to move forward with a Smart Communities Strategy. And don’t forget to come back on Thursday to learn the basics of web accessibility and implementation using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript.

Tuesday, July 9
11:15 am Social Equity: Ensuring Equitable Outcomes through Performance Management SDCC, Expo Demo Theater 9
2:30 pm Valuation Workflows within ArcGIS SDCC, Envisioning Center 2
4:00 pm Moving Forward with a Smart Communities Strategy SDCC, Expo Demo Theater 13
Wednesday, July 10
11:15 am Leveraging Policy Maps SDCC, Expo Demo Theater 13
12:15 pm Valuation Workflows within ArcGIS SDCC, Envisioning Center 2
1:15 pm Moving Forward with a Smart Communities Strategy SDCC, Expo Demo Theater 13
Thursday, July 11
10:00 am Accessible Web Mapping Apps: ARIA, WCAG, & 508 Compliance SDCC, Expo Demo Theater 08

On the flip-side – you can also attend user presentations! These 60-minute sessions are delivered by real users like you, facing common issues & challenges in the field. User presentations share innovative GIS projects in the form of case studies. We’ve pulled out specific presentations that focus on issues surrounding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion below.

Sunday, July 7
10:00am Mapping the Social Sciences Marriott, Pacific Ballroom 16
1:00pm The Geography of Educational Equity and Performance Marriott, Pacific Ballroom 17
Tuesday, July 9
8:30am Managing Natural Resources with New Technologies SDCC, Room 24 C
10:00am Using ArcGIS to Manage Tribal Infrastructure SDCC, Room 24 C
2:30pm Solving for Social Equity SDCC, Room 25 A
Wednesday, July 10
10:00am Using GIS in Tribal Health and Human Services SDCC, Room 24 C
Thursday, July 11
2:30pm Community Services: Ensuring Social Inclusion and Access to Services SDCC, Room 28 B

It is more important than ever to embrace the core principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the GIS industry. Incorporating these events and sessions into your User Conference schedule will bring new perspectives into your work — allowing you to see things in ways you might not have before. With GIS becoming more powerful and accessible, it is important to know how you can leverage its capabilities in unique ways to create a more equitable world. We hope to see you at one or many of these events – don’t be a stranger.

PS – Connect with the Women’s Geospatial Forum, GeoNet group for women across all geospatial sectors to find information and resources, ask technical or professional questions, and engage in discussions with women and allies in the GIS industry.

About the author

Madeline Schueren is a Senior Solution Engineer on the Geo Experience Center Team at Esri, helping organizations find answers to their challenges through the adoption of geospatial technologies. As a member of this team, Madeline presents and demonstrates geospatial solutions and capabilities to users visiting the Esri headquarters in Redlands, CA. She is a natural evangelist and enjoys demonstrating solutions that will radically improve the way organizations address the challenges they face. Madeline is also one of the leaders of WeCan - Esri's Employee Resource Group for women and their allies. Madeline’s background is in Urban Planning – before coming to Esri, she worked as a GIS Planner for the Chester County Planning Commission in suburban Philadelphia. It was at the county that Madeline found her passion for integrating 3D GIS into planning workflows and identifying ways the organization could do more with GIS. Her peer-reviewed research on 3D modeling and land development planning was published in September 2017. Madeline holds a B.A. and M.A. in Geography and Urban Planning from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


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