Joint Center Technology Policy Director Dr. Dominique Harrison joined a panel at the 2021 New York University Public Interest Technology convention and career fair to unpack the digital racial divide. Other panelists included Alisa Valentin (Special Advisor, Office of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks) and Daiquiri Ryan (Strategic Legal Advisor and Policy Counsel, National Hispanic Media Coalition).
The full panel description is as follows: “Historically, in policy debates across Capitol Hill and federal agencies of jurisdiction, the narrative surrounding the digital divide has most often been framed as an issue that impacts rural communities. As the world shifted online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became clear that the lack of access to affordable, reliable broadband was not just a disparity faced by rural communities but also communities of color and low-income communities across all geographic regions of the United States. Recent data show Black and Latinx communities are disproportionately less likely to have a home broadband connection and a desktop/laptop computer. These disparities impact the ability of communities of color to access opportunities in education, employment, and civic engagement. This panel discussion will explore the federal policy pitfalls and opportunities in closing the digital divide across communities of color.”