What is “The Undivide Project”?
This 2023, I decided to come back to my Medium account. Every month, I will have a longer form piece related to my work addressing digital and climate injustice, and my experiences trying to do that work. One of my topics is the social impact nonprofit I started. It’s called “The Undivide Project” as in we undo the digital divide. But it’s more than that. We know this is about more than connection or no connection. It’s about climate risk, environmental justice, social mobility, racism and biased attitudes against the poor. So here is a little description of the why and the how of “The Undivide Project”.
If you woke up today, checked your email, the weather, and social media then you have more privilege than 21 million Americans. Communities all over the country, rural and urban, lack Internet access due to policy decisions and a lack of infrastructure. These same communities lack access to information about their environmental and climate change risk. This is double divestment in an area of increasing digitization and extreme weather. At “The Undivide Project” we believe the Internet and all the benefits it provides should be accessible, equitable, green, and available to all. We tackle the dual issues of digital justice and climate justice. Let us show you what can happen when you honor community, design tools, and advocate for change to help us all thrive!
Ecosystem degradation, sea-level rise, increased disaster risk, pollution and dumping all impact the poorest and most vulnerable communities. All of these are driven by poor governance, social injustice and negligent stewardship of the earth. At the intersection of all of these is the digital divide. Just as the United States highway system has served as an instrument of injustice and division directed at poor and BIPOC communities; this will be true for access to Internet infrastructure, access via 5G and the advent Web 3.0 if we allow it. Our vision is to bring communities, researchers, advocates and corporations together to tackle digital and climate divestment. Here is how we approach our work:
- The Undivide Project has an ongoing public education and storytelling campaign to help everyone help confront these issues.
- We create mapping tools to help communities, governments, and policymakers understand the intersections of digital divestment and climate risk.
- The Undivide Project does direct service to communities in the form of technical and project design assistance (for example one community is working on a public commons in the cloud and another is building a resilience information garden) for bespoke solutions.
- We use applied research and collaboration to build policy and advocacy tools directed at digital divestment and the climate crisis.