#ShutdownPL @ ICFP 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 2–6 PM (ET)

Anti-Black racism is sustained by systems of discrimination that are pervasive accross our society, and academic spaces are no exception. Inspired by the recent #ShutDownSTEM movement and in response to the continued violence against Black people in the United States, the purpose of #ShutdownPL @ ICFP 2020 is to offer a safe space at ICFP 2020 in which to collaborate and take action against racism and systems of oppression in the programming languages community and beyond. We aim to continue the discussion at ICFP started by their statement on current events and, moreover, to enact positive change via concrete planning and action.

Important note: As of now, none of the organizers of #ShutdownPL are Black. We do not want to demand labor of Black voices; however, the last thing we want is an organization of non-Black researchers speaking for and taking actions on the behalf of Black researchers without their input. Accordingly, we will ensure all our commitments to act begin from a place of listening to the Black community within and beyond programming languages research.

We announce news via our Twitter account, @ShutdownPL. If you want to get in touch with the organizers of #ShutdownPL, please email us at


A huge thank you to Galois for generously sponsoring #ShutdownPL @ ICFP 2020.

An important issue in access to opportunities in technology is paying individuals for their labor; otherwise, opportunities only go to those who can afford to work for free. We cannot thank Galois enough for believing in these efforts.


The format of the event will be a keynote followed by four parallel discussion tracks. One of these tracks will be an introduction to anti-racist activism and the remaining three will be explicitly and concretely action-oriented.

The three action-oriented discussion tracks will be:

You can click on each of the above links for project descriptions and reading lists.

The full schedule of events at #ShutdownPL @ ICFP 2020 is as follows (in ET):


We would love to have you volunteer to help us out at #ShutdownPL @ ICFP. Please fill out this form if you’re interested! We’re particularly interested in additional discussion faciliators right now, but we welcome volunteers in all roles.

Our volunteer team thus far comprises:

Spread the Word

We use the #ShutdownPL tag on social media, and we encourage you to do the same. You can also use our banner and logo (licensed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that were designed by Aaron Weiss to talk about and support our official events.

In addition to telling your friends and colleagues, there are some special ways that you may be able to spread the word for us. For example, if you…

Here is some info about #ShutdownPL @ ICFP in an easy-to-digest format:


The organizers of #ShutdownPL @ ICFP 2020 are:

If you’re interested in helping organize future #ShutdownPL events, please email us at!