Category: Events

Nerd Nite DC Stands with Black Lives Matter


               Our Nerd Nite event scheduled for June 13th is being pushed back indefinitely. We firmly believe that having a show right now that does anything but center on Black voices would be disrespectful to the overdue movement taking place in our city and all over the world as we speak. Black lives matter, and we strongly and vociferously denounce the past and ongoing racist actions of the police. We apologize that we did not speak up about this issue sooner; while all of us here at DC Nerd Nite support this widespread push for racial justice, we were uncertain about whether or not to hop into your inbox with what may seem like empty platitudes. We’re sure you’re getting enough emails like that from every retail chain you’ve ever shopped at.

               We’re serious about this: we have discussed at length (and unfortunately dragged our feet) on how to make the DC Nerd Nite team less blindingly and inexcusably white. DC and the larger DMV is home to an incredibly diverse population, and our team has not reflected that. Nor has our stage. While we have made efforts in the past to bring more diverse speakers to our events, we recognize that these efforts have not been adequate, and for that we deeply apologize.

               We want to do better in both the short and the long term, and are putting our backs into it. In the immediate future, we will be putting out a call for a new producer to join our team. This position will be filled by someone non-white. We want to make sure our stage is a place that amplifies voices that have historically been under-represented or supressed; we also want to present you, our audience, with a better picture of the diversity of area Nerds. With both of these points in mind, we will be reaching out to local HBCUs (such as Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia) and other organizations in our community to circulate information about the producer position and speaking opportunities.

               But this is still not enough. Before we get to the final topic in this email, we want to emphasize that all of us on the DC Nerd Nite team have been taking time to educate ourselves on the issues affecting Black Americans, and do not want our Black Nerds to be forced to do the heavy informational lifting for our benefit. However, we also recognize that our whiteness—and the privilege that comes with it—has caused us to have blind spots. So we want to hear from you:

               What do you need from us now?

               This could run the gamut from suggested speakers, topics, and theme nights to ways in which you feel we could better incorporate diversity into the way we host. It could include other places to advertise for our producer and for future Nerd speakers. All suggestions and criticisms are welcome.

               Above all, the DC Nerd Nite team aims to create events and a community where you feel welcome. We don’t want to create “several white folks’ idea of what a welcoming place is for People of Color;” we want to listen to and take on your needs.

               So stay safe, stay nerdy, and stay tuned for a better Nerd Nite DC.

Nerd Nite for May 9, 2020

Meeting ID: 955 9957 2800
Password: 939397
6:30 PM

Last month’s Virtual Nerd Nite TOTALLY RULED, so we’re bringing it back to your Zoompage on May 9th with a brand new talk, an all-time favorite, and a very special presentation by Co-Boss Kali Holder. DO NOT MISS IT. Just do your optics a favor and scope this lineup:

“The Stickiest of the Icky: Collecting Animal Semen for Fun and Profit” by Ian Booth

Summary: The common wisdom holds that it is wrong to jack off a pet or cock-tease a farm animal. But one person’s bestiality is another person’s treasure, and animal semen is a major player in the global economy and conservation efforts.  I’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the human relationship with animal sperm, ranging from the profitable (more than $200 million in exports of bull semen last year) to the environmental (the peregrine falcon, saved by a sex hat), with stop offs at the just plain weird.  If you’ve ever enjoyed a pork chop, cheese, or a trip to the zoo, you’ve benefited from this sticky business.

Bio: Ian’s experience with sperm goes all the way back to mid-1984, when he was one.  He eventually got much bigger, lost the tail, and left North Carolina for the Peace Corps.  He would go on to become a Jeopardy! champion and the only person ever chased out of not one, but two 19th century naval fiction fan clubs.

“On Nipple Toothed Pachyderms: American degeneracy and the fossil record of elephants” by Advait Jukar

Summary: What do fossils have to do with the spirit of America? Were the French right about a degenerate fauna in the west? What the heck are nipple teeth? I will be answering these questions and will take you on a journey through the fascinating fossil history of elephants and their kin.

Bio: Advait is a Deep Time Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and studied the structure of ancient ecosystems, megafaunal extinctions, and the evolution of elephants and horses. Before Advait studied fossils, he studied mildly toxic frogs on a mountain in Korea.

PLUS: A Very Special Presentation by Nerd Nite Co-Boss Kali Holder!