Civil Rights Advocates and Communications Policy Experts to Discuss New Digital Divide Findings and Impact on Pending Legislation

Media 09.23,05

Hurricane Katrina demonstrates that a robust and accessible information infrastructure is not only vital to the educational and economic life of our nation, it is critical in emergencies as well. However, a new study by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund shows that digital divide is large and continues to grow. As Congress looks again at new telecommunications legislation, civil rights leaders and policy experts will discuss the digital divide and what should be done to close it.

The report, based on the most recent and comprehensive Census data, will be released at the briefing. This new study finds that while nearly seven in ten White Americans have a computer at home and are online, fewer than four in ten Black and Latino Americans enjoy the same access. It also shows that neither income nor education account for this disparity.

As Congress prepares to revisit the digital television transition and other aspects of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, civil rights advocates will argue that a priority must be placed on closing the digital divide.

Wade Henderson, Counselor, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund & Executive Director of Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Marcia Warren Edelman, President, Native Networking Policy Center
Dr. Robert Fairlie, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
Lisa Navarette, Vice President, National Council of La Raza
Karen Peltz Strauss, Former FCC Deputy Chief of Consumer Education

Briefing to Release New Digital Divide Research & Discussion of Pending Telecommunications Legislation

Tuesday, September 27th at 1p (lunch provided)

Capitol Building, HC-7