Digital Equity Ecosystems

Digital Equity EcosystemsRecently, in our Community Informatics Lab at Simmons University we have started a new research project to investigate what we are calling Digital Equity Ecosystems. This project builds on the excellent work of researchers and practitioners in the Digital Equity Lab at The New School, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Detroit Community Technology Project, and others. We define digital equity ecosystems as the following:

Digital Equity Ecosystems are interactions between individuals, populations, communities, and their larger sociotechnical environments that all play a role in shaping the digital inclusion work in local communities to promote more equitable access to technology and social and racial justice.

Our research in this area seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on individuals and families without household internet access and how digital inclusion coalitions across the nation have responded in turn. The goal of the study is to provide data and evidence to help local, state, and federal policymakers in the U.S. develop more effective digital equity strategies nationwide.

Findings from the study will also be useful for key stakeholders working to promote economic and racial justice in communities struggling with poverty during COVID-19 and after the pandemic ends. This is because, as we know from scholars such as Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Chris Gilliard, Virginia Eubanks, and many others who have noted that, the digital divide is rooted in systemic injustices and structural inequalities in our society. Therefore, we are keenly focused on the social, rather than the technological, solutions to digital inequality. We believe that a social ecological approach using participatory methods rooted in community knowledge and expertise is the pathway forward in this approach.

The publication of the first phase of our research to be published in 2020 is supported by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.

CIRN Virtual Webinar Series

CIRN Virtual Webinar SeriesThe annual Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) conference hosted at the Monash University Prato Centre in Italy has been postponed this year due to COVID-19. In its place, we have organized CIRN Virtual Webinar Series which you are invited to attend. The events are being organized by a team from the Digital Equity Group at Monash University (Australia) and the Comunity Informatics Lab at Simmons University (USA).

Registration is free and a zoom link will be provided.  Speakers will be participating from around the globe. Here is the list of online seminars taking place from October 19, 2021 to November 16, 2020:
  • The Informatics of Community Mutual Aid on October 19, 2020 9PM US EST (1AM GMT)
  • ICT4D beyond ICT on October 26, 2020 US 4AM EST (8AM GMT)
  • Indigenous Archives Collective on November 2, 2020 12PM EST (4PM GMT)
  • Globalization, Power, and Community Empowerment in Pandemic Times on Nov 9, 2020  (3PM GMT)
  • Memorialization, Digital Media and the State November 16, 2020 *time tbd
To learn more and to register, please visit:
We look forward to your participation online!