The Necessity of Digital Equity and Care Work

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In our 2017 article, titled “Creating Caring Institutions for Community Informatics,” Dr. Miriam Sweeney (University of Alabama) and I explored the potential affordances of applying a feminist ethics of care approach to public libraries and community technology centers–the places where people go when they are unable to pay for the Internet at home. As the Biden Administration, members of Congress, and the Federal Communication Commission continue to push important legislation and federal programs forward to address the digital divide, I believe there is an urgent need to develop new ways of thinking about digital equity that embrace some of those ideas. Our feminist ethics of care in digital equity work must be intersectional. The time is now to bring together care workers with digital equity practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to ensure that federal policies and programs connect to those who need broadband the most.

[Dr. Colin Rhinesmith is currently a Senior Faculty Research Fellow with the Benton Institute]

The Necessity of Digital Equity and Care Work The Impacts of COVID-19 on Digital Equity Ecosystems (Benton Institute)