State : Arizona
Related Tags : Digital Equity
Digital Equity Champions for All Learners: Arizona’s Digital Equity Institute Encourages States to Co-Create of Solutions with Communities
The Digital Equity Institute (DEI) is a non-profit, civic organization that advances digital equity and inclusion. Their approach includes delivering inclusive digital literacy curriculum and building community-responsive digital navigator programs. For example, the Digital Equity Institute has partnered with Common Sense and Arizona State University to develop a technical support hotline to help members of the Phoenix, AZ community apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program.
Erin Carr-Jordan, Managing Director of the Digital Equity Institute, attended the U.S. Department of Education’s National Digital Equity Summit in September 2022. In a video interview, we asked her, “How are you and your organization working across sectors to advance digital equity for learners, families, and communities?”
Carr-Jordan emphasized including communities in the development of effective solutions. “Everything that we do is designed to help everyone across the entirety of the state,” said Carr-Jordan, “whether you’re a learner, a member of a community, an older adult, a young kiddo. The work that we’re doing is, hopefully, to bring everyone together to deeply listen to members of the community and to build and co-create programs that actually add value, because they were designed in collaboration with the community.”
We then asked her, “How will you continue building on this commitment to digital equity?”
Carr-Jordan responded, “We have a lot of learning to do. I think we are humbly opening to listening.” She underscored the need to continuously ask for input and feedback from community members and experts across sectors to improve programs. “We are open to iteration and evolving, and we make sure that we continue to build, and we continue to ask how it’s going, and we continue to recognize that people are the experts of their own lived experience,” Carr-Jordan reflected. “As long as we’re open to recognizing that until we measure ourselves in lives changed and until the perception of success is determined by the community, we won’t actually know how well we’ve done.”