We are calling for proposals to host structured socials as part of the NAACL 2022 conference (July 10–15, 2022). A structured social is a 1-hour free-form discussion, moderated by 1-3 discussion leaders who encourage participant interactions. All structured socials will be virtual-only (see Platform and Format below for details). These discussions are to be around topics such as work-life balance, academic and industry career paths, diversity and inclusion issues, and any other non-research oriented topic, since the birds of a feather discussions already cover research topics.

Role of leaders:

  • Start the conversation with some icebreakers
  • Point-out key characteristics of your topic and make connections with other topics.
  • Describe the key challenges in this area/topic on a high-level.
  • Describe the key approaches on a high-level to provide intuition.
  • Highlight possible points of discussion/goals to achieve during the session. We encourage preparing some high-level questions in advance, to get the conversation started.
  • Use graphics/imagery and materials e.g. slides as needed
  • Encourage inclusive (rather than unilateral) discussions. It is important that the leaders make sure everyone gets a chance to participate and express themselves, and that the conversation moves forward.
  • The leaders can also invite experts and facilitate open discussions between them and the other attendees (this is not mandatory). This would be different from a panel, since here the attendees can converse with the experts directly, as opposed to panels where it is done through a moderator.
  • The leaders are encouraged to summarize discussion points occaisionally during the session to make the conversation more accessible for everyone.

Discussion proposals can be submitted through the following form: link

Deadline to submit a proposal: Friday 27th of May 2022

Proposed themes and topics:

You are welcome to use these, or come up with new ones.

  1. Challenges as underrepresented minorities in academia/industry
  2. Applying to grad school as first-generation applicants
  3. lifestyle/career decisions and development
  4. Academia vs industry in terms of work-life balance, pay, etc.
  5. Navigating grad school
  6. How to have more inclusive conferences
  7. How to increase networking opportunities for underrepresented groups

Platform and Format

We have decided that these discussions should be hosted as public Zoom calls, where the Zoom meeting rooms are provided either by one of the leaders (if they have pro accounts), or by us if they do not. We have chosen this option since we want the socials to be as accessible as possible and potentially include folks who are not registered for the main conference. We can provide Zoom rooms for your event (note that the number of participants might be capped). Similar events were held by WINLP @ AACL 2020 and Queer in AI @ EMNLP 2020.

Informal inquiries can be made to: naacl2022-diversity-inclusion@googlegroups.com.

Code of Conduct

All socials should abide by ACL’s code of conduct.