Digital divide the focus of May 10 Digital Inclusion Summit

Local partners advance efforts to reduce barriers to participation in a connected world

PORTLAND, Ore. — May 7, 2018 — On May 10, Multnomah County Library will join with the City of Portland and other partners for a Digital Inclusion Summit to share insights, identify knowledge gaps and to continue collaborative efforts to achieve digital equity.

Speakers will include Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke. The event will take place from 8:30 am to 4 pm at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, 511 NW Broadway, in Portland.

In today’s connected world, some people are excluded from participating, leaving them more isolated, marginalized and shut out of opportunities to work, learn and connect with others. Digital inclusion is a set of efforts to ensure that all people and communities, including the most disadvantaged, have access to and use of information and communication technology.

Coinciding with Digital Inclusion Week across America, the event is the second in Portland, convened by the regional Digital Inclusion Network (DIN). Formed in 2014, the DIN is a group of public agencies, nonprofits, service providers and businesses that meet monthly to advance a set of strategies and actions laid out in the Digital Equity Action Plan (DEAP). The plan, adopted by the Portland City Council and Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in 2016, reduces barriers to digital inclusion by focusing on collaborative efforts to make access, devices and training more accessible to people in our community.

The theme of the Digital Inclusion Summit is Economic Opportunity. There will be panel discussions on topics including increasing diversity in the local workforce, decreasing health disparities, and the impacts of public policy, plus networking, resources and exhibits. 

The event’s Platinum Sponsor is Mozilla. The Gold Sponsor is Pacific Northwest College of Art. Silver Sponsors include Franz Bakery, Open Signal and MetroEast Community Media.