Democracy depends on participation. In the digital era, participation often depends on access to a free and open internet. Yet for most of the world’s population, digital access remains expensive, unreliable and limited.

How are marginalized communities – across both the US and the Global South – organizing digital access for themselves? In this event, we’ll talk to two experts on connectivity and community-led efforts to create equal access to digital resources. Tawana Petty is a researcher with the Detroit Community Technology Project, which brings together technologists, activists, and community members to build wireless networks across Detroit. Jenna Burrell, an ethnographer and associate professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley, has researched digital connectivity among marginalized populations, first in sub-Saharan Africa and, currently, in rural areas of California and Oregon. Toussaint Nothias is a postdoctoral fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab whose research explores journalism, social media and civil society in Africa.

The Active Citizen in the Digital Age is an ongoing speaker series highlighting the range of ways people are using digital technologies to make a difference – politically, charitably, as volunteers, and with their career, consumer, and investing choices.