Conversation with Angela Glover Blackwell with moderator Daniel Ben-Horin at NetSquared Conference 2006.
The Digital Divide is often spoken of as an equipment divide - numbers of computers per families and those kind of statistics - but it's much more nuanced than that. One could argue that there's been a tremendous increase in equipment access for the economically disadvantaged in this country over the last 15 years and that at the same time the complexity of successful technology implementation has increased even more quickly. We now seem to have something that is in the ballpark of basic access on a broad scale, and then we have real access on a far more limited and economically privileged scale. The divide between these categories is less stark than the divide between someone one owns a computer and someone who doesn't, but it is no less injurious to educational and economic advancement and to social confidence.
Very recently, Policylink was a founding partner of the Louisiana Rebuilds project and staffs the project's Drupal site for Katrina victims. In conversation with Daniel Ben-Horin, President of CompuMentor, Angela will examine the question of what it will take, on an equity and policy level, to create ubiquitous real access, defined as access to, not just shared institutional computers, but to personal, home-based computers and the education and support necessary to fully utilize them.
Presented by NetSquared in collaboration with Link TV.
Funding of Link TV's video coverage provided by:
Surdna Foundation Leland Fikes Foundation Care2.com
Daniel Ben-Horin, CompuMentor's President and Co-CEO, feels very fortunate that his job has evolved since 1987 to allow him to spend the bulk of his time thinking about social change this organization can work to enact.
The rest of Ben-Horin's time is spent trying to sell his ideas to the people at CompuMentor who have to implement them and the people outside who need to be convinced to be partners and/or funders of the projects.
After graduating from college in 1969, Daniel spent 7 years as a journalist (Arizona Republic, New York Times, New Times) in Arizona. During this time, he realized that as much as he liked to write and edit, he was more interested in how to use his skills for social change.
Gradually, his work moved in the direction of becoming an organizer, administrator, fundraiser, and what would today be called a social entrepreneur. He worked for Pacific News Service, directed Media Alliance in the early 80's, wrote fiction, took a couple of basic programming classes and, in 1987, founded CompuMentor with the notion that people who understood technology were an undervalued but potentially tremendous resource for social change organizations.
Angela Glover Blackwell
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, started PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure.