Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Alliance for Digital Equality Hosts Newark Digital Empowerment Summit


Dr. Randal Pinkett (Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners), Julius H. Hollis (Chairman and CEO of the Alliance for Digital Equality), Shirley Franklin (Former Mayor of Atlanta and ADE Executive Senior Advisor), Marc Morial (President & CEO of the National Urban League), and Malik Yoba (Actor and Activist) at the Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) Summit themed "Broadband: Closing the Economic Divide" on April 23, 2010 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Hundreds of New Jersey and New York residents attended the summit to learn about the impact that universal broadband access will have on education, jobs and wealth creation opportunities.

The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) hosted over three hundred area residents, elected officials, dignitaries and celebrities at the Newark Digital Empowerment Summit themed “Broadband: Closing the Economic Divide” on April 23, 2010. The summit, which occurred at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is the first of its kind in New Jersey. At the event, ADE Chair Julius H. Hollis unveiled a new agenda focusing on jobs, education and technology (the JET Agenda) paramount to achieving the full potential of universal broadband access. Panelists discussed the impact that universal broadband access will have on access to education, jobs and wealth creation opportunities.

Several powerful voices were heard during the summit including FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker, National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial and Senator Rodney Ellis. CNN Contributor Mario Armstrong; actor, author and activist Hill Harper and radio host Jacque Reid moderated the summit's panel discussions: “Jobs & Wealth,” “The Wireless Broadband Revolution,” and “The State of Broadband in Minority Communities.”

In line with its mission, ADE hopes to help communities like Newark to understand the impact of broadband in their lives and local economy. “We live in a radically changing world and ultimately what makes us successful is how powerfully connected we are,” said Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker. “We must ensure that every community has access to connectivity and we need to make sure that the jobs created from broadband are equally accessible. From virtual classrooms to the implementation of new police crime-fighting technology, we are embracing a bold vision of America which is in the middle of a digital revolution.”

Julius H. Hollis, Chairman and CEO, Alliance for Digital Equality and Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Julius H. Hollis, ADE Chairman adds that, “Seldom in the history of our democracy, perhaps with the exception being the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, have we witnessed a socio-economic phenomenon of this magnitude, which possesses a faster, innovative and more comprehensive ability to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans, as well as the potential to rectify the stark economic inequalities that exist between communities of color and their counterparts located in more affluent American communities.”

“Altogether, 93 million Americans do not have broadband at home. And adoption rates are much lower among certain populations, including rural Americans, the elderly, persons with disabilities, low-income Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Among the 13 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 who do not have broadband at home, 6 million are either Hispanic or African American. These disparities won’t just disappear over time if we sit back and do nothing,” states FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

The Newark Digital Empowerment Summit occurred just weeks after the FCC released its National Broadband Plan, designed to deliver broadband access to every American. ADE's goal is to educate Americans about the benefits of new broadband technologies and be a voice of underserved communities to raise awareness of the importance of new technologies regardless of socioeconomic status.

Hill Harper, Julius H. Hollis and Malik Yoba

Highlights of the Summit can be viewed by tuning in at www.alliancefordigitalequality.org.

About The Alliance for Digital Equality: The Alliance for Digital Equality, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is a non-profit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities. The Alliance also serves as a bridge between policymakers and minority individuals in order to help the public understand how legislative and regulatory policies regarding new technologies can impact and empower their daily lives. See previous post on the organization HERE.

Source and photo credit: Tamara Fleming/FEMWORKS

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