ACM SIGGRAPH Introduces Underrepresented Communities Travel Grant for SIGGRAPH 2024

photo by John Fujii © 2023 ACM SIGGRAPH

Editor’s note: Deadline extended! You can still apply for the ACM SIGGRAPH Underrepresented Communities Travel Grant. Apply by Tuesday, 30 April. Recipients will be notified by Thursday, 30 May.

ACM SIGGRAPH is offering the Underrepresented Communities Travel Grant to support attendance to SIGGRAPH 2024. In an effort to further expand the computer graphics community and uphold ACM SIGGRAPH’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive membership, this grant supports new and existing members whose potential career impact is recognized as extraordinary. Here, the ACM SIGGRAPH volunteer leaders behind the grant explain its development, goals, and mission to continue diversifying the minds and backgrounds of the computer graphics community.

SIGGRAPH: It’s exciting to hear the news about this opportunity. Tell us about how you developed the ACM SIGGRAPH Underrepresented Communities Travel Grant.

ACM SIGGRAPH Ad Hoc Subcommittee: This welcomed program initiated by ACM SIGGRAPH leadership charged several SIGGRAPH committees — including representatives from Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Education; Digital Arts; and Chapters — to develop and implement the inaugural call for applications last year as part of the 50th conference celebration. The dedicated team members worked efficiently to invite, evaluate, and distribute the travel grants to five deserving individuals representing underserved communities who joined us at last year’s conference.   

SIGGRAPH: What are the grant’s goals?

ACM SIGGRAPH Ad Hoc Subcommittee: The main goal of this grant is to provide underrepresented individuals access to the SIGGRAPH Conference, with the wish that they take their experience back and share it with their community. The ACM SIGGRAPH Executive Committee (EC) provided this grant to help foster growth in communities that, presently, we are not witnessing strong participation within the organization. The grant is not to focus on a specific gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is to include them all, with the desire to fund individuals within underrepresented communities who cannot afford to attend the conference. 

SIGGRAPH: How does the grant champion ACM SIGGRAPH’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives?

ACM SIGGRAPH Ad Hoc Subcommittee: The ACM SIGGRAPH Underrepresented Communities Travel Grant provides material support to increase accessibility for our diverse membership to experience SIGGRAPH by decreasing their financial burden to attend the annual conference and be part of our organization year-round.

SIGGRAPH: Taking that a step further, how does ACM SIGGRAPH envision the long-term benefits of increasing diversity within the computer graphics and interactive techniques industry?

ACM SIGGRAPH Ad Hoc Subcommittee: These travel grants signal, through practical and meaningful ways, ACM SIGGRAPH’s abiding commitment to foster a diverse and inclusive membership. Understanding that many existing and new members’ work in computer graphics and interactive techniques has traditionally not been open to those in underserved communities, these grants invite invaluable new perspectives and wider reflections to enrich and enlarge what these fields can communicate. Following ACM SIGGRAPH’s longstanding mission, we believe that fostering technical prowess at the highest levels and in more diverse and inclusive communities promotes a stronger and more resilient industry. 

SIGGRAPH: How does the grant foster engagement with the computer graphics community and support for the grantee, not only at a SIGGRAPH conference but all year around?

ACM SIGGRAPH Ad Hoc Subcommittee: The primary hope in providing wider access to the SIGGRAPH Conference is for members to bring that experience back to their local communities and spark an interest in the organization. Our goal is that this type of communication will motivate these communities to become more involved in the organization and volunteer to be part of the organization. This will provide ACM SIGGRAPH with a more diverse makeup of volunteers whose contributions will help lead us into a richer and even more dynamic future.

Learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply on the ACM SIGGRAPH website.

Thank you to the following ACM SIGGRAPH volunteers who were involved in creating this grant:

  • Alex Bryant
  • Amira Malcom
  • Brad A Lawrence
  • Gustavo Rincon
  • John Cays
  • Liliana Conlisk-Gallegos
  • Tony Baylis

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