Coded Bias: Virtual Screening &… | Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Main Menu
CLOSE close
LIVE TV SHOP LPB (0)

LPB Stories for Justice

LPB Stories for Justice

Louisiana Public Broadcasting, in partnership with the Southern University Law Center, presented a virtual preview screening of Coded Bias on Monday, March 15. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, Coded Bias, from Independent Lens PBS, follows MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians and watchdog groups from different parts of the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within the facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life. Buolamwini’s startling discovery that the algorithm for facial recognition technology could not detect dark-skinned faces or women with accuracy led to her realization that the very machines learning algorithms intended to avoid prejudice are only as unbiased as the humans and historical data programming them.

The film explores an increasingly data-driven, automated world, where the question of how to protect individuals’ civil liberties in the face of artificial intelligence looms larger by the day. Praised as “cleareyed” by The New York Times and “a chilling plunge into Orwellian reality” by The Hollywood Reporter, Coded Bias illustrates the profound ways in which algorithms have come to shape people’s lives, with very little oversight from public and elected officials,” said Kantayya. “It’s my hope that the film pushes audiences toward a greater awareness about how these disruptive technologies impact issues of equality and equity and that it in turn encourages more people to speak up and hold the companies behind them accountable.”

Following LPB’s free virtual preview screening of Coded Bias, we heard from expert panelists who discussed the film and the implications of facial recognition technology. The conversation was moderated by Dr. Robyn Merrick, Vice President of External Affairs for the Southern University System. Panelists for the virtual event are Angela A. Allen-Bell, Associate Professor, B. K. Agnihotri Endowed Professor, Southern University Law Center; Kelly G. Carmena, Criminal Clinic Supervising Attorney, Southern University Law Center; Alanah Odoms, Executive Director of the ACLU of Louisiana; and Fanny A. Ramirez, Assistant Professor of Media Law, Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU Interdisciplinary Center for Computation and Technology (CCT), Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs’ Research Affiliate.

Our Event Host:

Robyn Merrick is Southern University's Vice President for External Affairs in Baton Rouge.

Robyn previously provided leadership for the University’s 90,000 alumni serving as Director of Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the Southern University Alumni Federation. Also at Southern, Robyn co-hosted the University’s radio show, Inside the Southern University System, and is the former co-managing editor of the Southern University System Magazine. Through her career in higher education, she has held several administrative positions as Executive Associate to the President, Director of Public Affairs, and Policy Development Coordinator. Robyn holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Masters in Public Administration, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy. She has conducted and published research in the areas of women in government and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Read More



Our Panelists:

Angela A. Allen-Bell - Associate Professor, B.K. Agnihotri Endowed Professor, Southern University

Angela A. Allen-Bell, Associate Professor, B.K. Agnihotri Endowed Professor, Southern University Law Center

Professor Bell is a respected local, national and international legal scholar and expert on civil and human rights, social and restorative justice and the interplay between race and justice. It was her research that catapulted the recent movement that, in November 2018, successfully ended the use of non-unanimous juries in Louisiana. And she is one of the founding members of the advocacy team that led this effort to reform Louisiana’s jury system through the adoption of legislation that would require unanimous juries in criminal trials in Louisiana state courts. She has the distinction of having worked on several other historic advocacy campaigns, such as the Angola 3 case, the case of Soledad Brother John Clutchette and the case of Robert Holbrook. The House of Representatives of the Legislature of Louisiana has commended her “for her achievements as a legal scholar” and has recognized and recorded “the tremendous pride and honor that she brings” to the state of Louisiana.

Read More



Kelly G. Carmena - Clinical Professor In The Criminal Law Clinic, Southern University

Kelly G. Carmena, Clinical Professor In The Criminal Law Clinic, Southern University Law Center

Kelly G. Carmena joined the SULC faculty in 2014 as a clinical professor in the Criminal Law Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty, she worked with the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Public Defender as a felony and misdemeanor assistant public defender. During her five year term with the Public Defender’s Office, she served as lead counsel on a multitude of felony matters including second degree murder, aggravated and forcible rape, distribution charges and armed robbery, as well as numerous misdemeanor matters.

Read More



Alanah Odoms - Executive Director, ACLU of Louisiana

Alanah Odoms, Executive Director, ACLU of Louisiana

Alanah Odoms is a civil rights leader, mother, and a professional and spiritual support to countless activists across Louisiana and beyond. As the first Black woman to lead the ACLU of Louisiana in its 65 year history, she has answered the call to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by challenging systemic racial and gender injustice – vestiges of slavery displayed most prominently in Louisiana’s epidemic of mass incarceration, immigrant detention and deportation, and racist policing across the state.

Read More




Fanny A. Ramirez - ​Assistant Professor of Media Law, Louisiana State University

Fanny A. Ramirez, Assistant Professor of Media Law, Louisiana State University

Fanny A. Ramirez is an Assistant Professor of Media Law (Ph.D. Rutgers University). She holds a joint appointment with the Manship School of Mass Communication and LSU’s interdisciplinary Center for Computation and Technology. She's also one of the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs’ research affiliates. Her research examines the use of information communication technologies in the criminal justice system with an eye towards issues of discrimination, privacy, and surveillance. Recently, her work has focused on the use of social media evidence in domestic violence cases and in the prosecution of youth gangs. She has also done research on the adoption of body cameras in law enforcement.



Coded Bias | Trailer

Coded Bias follows M.I.T. Media Lab computer scientist Joy Buolamwini, along with data scientists, mathematicians, and watchdog groups from all over the world, as they fight to expose the discrimination within facial recognition algorithms now prevalent across all spheres of daily life.

More about Coded Bias



Independent Lens | Coded Bias

Independent Lens is America’s home for independent documentary film.


Support programs like this on LPB!

Donate Now!


View More LPB Stories for Justice

Philly D.A. Preview Screening & Conversation - Monday, April 12 from 6-7:30pm

Thank you for your support!

Already a Friend of LPB? - View more on Passport.

Not a Friend of LPB? - Join here.


Search on Passport for more great programs!