Socioeconomic forces complicate an already complicated issue, but, still, the digital divide is perhaps most often seen as a split between white communities and black communities.
Forty-five percent of black Americans will use a computer on a typical day, 14 percent less than the figure for their white counterparts, according to Pew Internet and American Life research from last summer.
It was with that in mind that more than a decade ago that Baltimore-based media company Career Communications Group and IBM partnered to create Black Family Technology Awareness Week (Feb. 14 – 20), a loose confederation of events that center around the theme of bring technology education, job and other opportunities to black communities that need them. See a complete list of events here.
It has nearly as long a history in Philadelphia, but this year, its pioneer isn’t here anymore.
This BFTAW is Philadelphia’s first of 11 without Carole I. Smith, the technology trailblazer and former executive director of the Mayor’s Commission on Technology who first brought the week here but passed away a few weeks ago, as we reported.
MCOT, which partners here with various academic, civic, trade associations and technology organizations, will again host several technology events throughout Philadelphia designed for all families to embrace and promote technology literacy. The week’s events cover a wide range of technology topics addressing the digital divide, encouraging pre-school use of computer programs and presenting interactive ways the family can implement so-called STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—activities into their everyday lives.
Smith is credited for a mission that is now meant to be MCOT’s: keeping city government and residents aware of local, national and international technological advancements to help bridge the digital divide with literacy in these ever-growing segments of U.S. culture and economy.
See a complete list of events here.