Digital Equity Initiative

The Digital Equity Initiative is a multi-year project of the California Community Foundation (CCF) that will seed a digital equity movement in Los Angeles County with the power and capacity to successfully advocate for fast, reliable, and affordable broadband for all Angelenos.

The Digital Equity Initiative is focused on system-change solutions to the digital divide. Los Angeles’ low-income communities and communities of color have seen systemic underinvestment in the basic infrastructure that drives the internet, leaving those communities with slower, less reliable, and more expensive internet. The patterns of digital inequity mirror the patterns of real estate redlining of decades past, as well as the race- and income-based disadvantages readily apparent across sectors ranging from education to medicine and pollution burdens.

While all aspects of digital equity are critical, the Digital Equity Initiative is not at present focused on digital literacy or devices. Our efforts are centered on empowering and building capacity within affected communities to fight for and win equitable access to broadband that will make literacy and devices most useful.

Strategies for Change

The Digital Equity Initiative has three core strategies:

  1. Seeding an ecosystem & building a movement with power and capacity to win – expanding the network of equity champions engaging on the digital divide, and empowering them to fight for investment in broadband infrastructure in LA’s underserved communities.
  2. Narrative building & public education – building the narrative and case for fast, affordable, and reliable broadband as a civil right, a basic utility, and a core element of building a more equitable LA.
  3. Leading & mobilizing legislative and regulatory advocacy – uplifting effective collective action in support of local and state policy and regulation that spurs equitable deployment of broadband in underserved and unserved areas of LA County.

resources

Key to our movement is developing educational materials about issues relating to broadband and digital equity.  As communities get more comfortable with the  jargon-filled, technical, complex details of broadband infrastructure, policy, and opportunities for systems change, they’ll be better positioned to mobilize and advocate for critical policy and regulatory change.

The fact sheets and 101s most most frequently leveraged by our partners in the Initiative are linked below.

get involved

The Digital Equity Initiative hosts monthly information-sharing, strategy, and action convenings, and publishes a periodic newsletter.

To learn more, contact Digital Equity Initiative Director Shayna Englin at digitaldivide@calfund.org.