WHEREAS the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) recognizes that the digital divide leads to inequity and the lack of social justice in education and society; and
WHEREAS NAME believes that the digital divide has a negative impact on individuals and groups that have been and continue to be discriminated against in education and society. These groups include people of color, speakers of first languages other than English, girls and women, people with disabilities, and people from low-income families; and
WHEREAS cyber-culture remains hostile to underrepresented and unprivileged individuals and groups such as people of color, speakers of first languages other than English, girls and women, people with disabilities, and people from low-income families; and
WHEREAS persons from underrepresented and unprivileged groups are not proportionately represented in educational and professional fields related to computers and the Internet; and
WHEREAS current approaches for closing the digital divide, mostly focused on adding computers and Internet access to classrooms, schools. Libraries, and other public places, fail to address disparities in access to educational, professional, and economic pursuits related to computer and Internet technologies; and
WHEREAS computers and the Internet are not used in progressive, pedagogically sound ways in many classrooms serving underrepresented students, such as to help students learn and to develop critical thinking skills; and
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that NAME calls for digital equity for all people and groups regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, or ability status. Digital equity would mean that
- All individuals and groups enjoy equitable access to information technology including computers and the Internet;
- All individuals and groups enjoy equitable access to educational pursuits in technology related fields including mathematics, science, computer science, and engineering;
- All individuals and groups enjoy equitable access to career pursuits in technology related fields including mathematics, science, computer science, engineering, and information technology;.
- All individuals and groups play an equitable role in determining the sociocultural significance of computers and the Internet and the overall social and cultural value of these technologies; and
- Each of these conditions are constantly monitored, examined, and ensured through a diversity of experiences and perspectives.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME calls for educators, researchers, and policymakers to understand the digital divide within a social, cultural, and historical context as we move toward eliminating the inequities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME endorses the continuing critique and study of technology related inequities in the larger educational and societal context toward eliminating the digital divide.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME endorses broadening the significance of access beyond that of physical access to computers and the Internet.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME support and encourage people of color, speakers of first languages other than English, females, people with disabilities, and people from low-income families to pursue and value technology related fields.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME promotes access for all to inclusive software and Internet content.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME denounces propaganda such as commercials portraying children from around the world announcing their recent arrival on-line, that lead people to believe that these technologies are available to everyone, everywhere, under any conditions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME rejects as simplistic and patriarchal any program that purports to “close” the divide only by providing more computers and more, or faster, Internet access, to a school, library, or other public place.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NAME rejects as inadequate any solution that aims to reduce and not eliminate the divide.
Adopted by the NAME Board of Directors on February 1, 2003.
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