Skip to main content


Julie Kientz

Winter 2024

Assisting or Resisting Black Birth: Reproductive Technologies That Stick

This DRG is full for winter and no longer accepting applications.

Artificial wombs. Forced sterilization. Cloning. Low-cost surrogacy. Black infertility. The renewed fight for abortion rights is the tip of an iceberg. What can UW students contribute to debates about reproductive oppression and assisted reproductive technologies (ART)?

We will apply HCDE-related approaches to relevant academic literature and recent journalism that investigate how a wide range of insidious techniques have been used to resist black birthing people’s freedom. Rather than stopping there, we will also consider black public participation in successful examples of technologically-mediated childbirth against the odds.

Interactions between black women and ART can teach us lessons about how the current limits of design and engineering (that centers affluent, white humans) are already being surpassed beyond the walls of the university. Reading and discussing literature on these timely topics will provide a foundation for designing, printing, and sharing stickers that showcase our collective knowledge — spreading the word about lessons we have learned through creative communications that “stick.”

Facilitators: Nat Mengist and Leslie Coney
Meeting times: Mondays, 2–3 p.m. PST
Location: Virtual (zoom link will be sent to confirmed participants)
Credits: 2
This DRG is now closed to new applicants.

Dr. Kientz's Research Group archive