Detroit Community Technology Project
Offerings and Workshops
- Equitable internet
- Decentralization and equitable internet
- Practicing Data Justice Presentation
- Practicing Racial Equity Throughout Our Work/in technology
- Safety Vs. Security
- Surveillance In Detroit
- Digital Equity
- Digital Stewards
The Equitable Internet Initiative: A Decentralized Approach (60-90min)
Participants will learn about the Equitable Internet Initiative, a decentralized and collaborative approach across four neighborhoods to end digital inequality in Detroit by building community-governed ISPs and redistributing Gigabit internet to low income communities. They will also learn why this approach ensures that those most marginalized by the digital divide are at the forefront of generating the solutions. Then, we’ll put what we’ve learned into practice! Participants will spend the rest of the session working to decentralize a challenging problem/issue within their community (internet access, information, mass surveillance, etc).
Our goal is to share how a grassroots and decentralized approach to address Internet access in Detroit, one of the country’s worst connected cities, is working to end digital inequality through the Equitable Internet Initiative.
Since 2015, Detroit has remained one of the country’s worst connected cities. Through a grassroots and decentralized approach, Detroit residents across four neighborhoods are working to end digital inequality by building community-governed ISPs and redistributing Gigabit internet to low income communities. In this session, participants will learn about the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII) and how its collaborative and decentralized model ensures that those most marginalized by the digital divide are at the forefront of generating the solutions. Then, we’ll put what we’ve learned into practice! Participants will spend the rest of the session working to decentralize a challenging problem/issue within their community (internet access, distributing information, climate, mass surveillance, etc). Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the EII and how its decentralized approach may be used to develop solutions to issues facing their communities.
Rooted in Community: The Equitable Internet Initiative (60min)
About 38% of households in Detroit have no broadband connection at home with 63% of low-income households with no broadband connection. The median household income in Detroit is $26,249. Up to 70% of school-aged children in Detroit have no Internet access at home. In Detroit’s lower-income communities, affordable internet access either does not exist or comes at the cost of slower and lower quality internet speeds.
Through the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII), we are creating a new world, one we believe is possible. This is also how we address the digital divide in Detroit. Through this initiative, we work in 4 Detroit neighborhoods to build community governed ISPs and bring our communities online. Participants will learn how we train Detroit residents as Digital Stewards to build out the network infrastructure. We will discuss the Detroit Community Technology Project’s (DCTP) commitment to community technology and the history and context of our work. We will also share EII’s impact on these neighborhoods and its community members as well as the challenges each has been confronted with. Participants will learn about the EII principles, community engagement practices, use of participatory design, and how these practices ensure that those most marginalized by the digital divide are at the forefront of generating the solutions to challenges they face.
In addition, participants will learn how EII practices data justice within their networks particularly as they work with other organizations and community members to resist the implementation of harmful technologies like Project Greenlight and facial recognition. Finally, we will share how DCTP views their role as an organization in the context of Detroit.