Digital Equity Summit Details
The Board of Regents and the State Education Department will convene a series of Digital Equity Summits to establish a shared understanding of digital inequity and create a joint vision toward achieving digital equity in New York State. The summits will bring together education, government, community, and business partners to recommend next steps (both short-term and long-term) at all levels—federal, state, local, and organizational.
The virtual events will include presentations by national experts and breakout discussions. Participants will take part in facilitated small group discussions, sharing their ideas, expertise, and experiences.
From these discussions, the Department will:
- Compile data and use an equity lens for analysis.
- Identify existing and emerging solutions that can serve as exemplars for digital-equity work.
- Identify opportunities for system and policy change.
The Board and Department will share the results of this work in a report, which will be made available to stakeholders and can be used as a blueprint for continued change. The final report will identify barriers to achieving digital equity and contain recommendations for action at federal, state, regional, local and organizational levels.
Each summit will have multiple discussion sessions and facilitated breakout groups. The Department is reaching out to leaders in education, government, community, and business with expertise in digital equity to participate in the summit. The summit’s opening and closing sessions will be streamed live on the Department’s website.
The first Digital Equity Summit will feature national keynote speaker Rebecca F. Kauma, the Economic and Digital Inclusion Program Manager for The City of Long Beach, CA. Ms. Kauma is a passionate diversity, racial equity and inclusion (DEI) professional with extensive program and project management, community engagement and strategic planning expertise. Some of Rebecca’s digital inclusion efforts include launching a multilingual Digital Inclusion Resources Hotline to help connect Long Beach residents with a variety of resources and services, including computers, low-cost Internet services and computer literacy training. Rebecca is the recipient of the 2020 Digital Equity Champion Award by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a national award that recognizes outstanding leadership and dedication in advancing digital equity and inclusion and addressing the digital divide. Rebecca has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) with an emphasis on Healthcare Policy from American University School of Public Affairs. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Administration (BSHA) from California State University, Northridge.
The Digital Equity Summits are supported in part with federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds allocated to the New York State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).