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Designing for All: Bridging the Digital Divide

COVID is revealing many uncomfortable truths to the world. In the area of education and access to technology, the impact of the digital divide on the haves and have-nots has never been more clear. As schools shut down and education comes to a halt, students that were already behind their privileged peers are faced with yet another obstacle. Many students, adults in the workforce, across the globe do not have access to computers and internet access that is needed to keep up in this race to the top. On the other hand, sections of society that were already connected are adopting newer technologies faster and are connecting even more. 

The social and economic gap is growing between the privileged and the marginalized: especially the poor, rural, elderly, and handicapped portions of the population who do not have, or have limited access to computers or the internet. 

How might our current global crisis create the impetus for businesses, nonprofits, community-based organizations, government, and academia to develop innovative solutions to bridge these digital divides, and in so doing, reduce the also growing wealth gap? Is it possible that designing for inclusivity can create a win-win for businesses and for people? Join us in a conversation with the Walton Family Foundation and Cox Communications to understand how trust-based philanthropy and designing for all can work together to bridge the socio-economic gap created by the digital divide. 

Join us on October 8th at 10:00 am PDT/1:00 pm EDT

This event features: Ebonee Younger, Product Manager, Cox Communications. Romy Drucker, K-12 Education Program Deputy Director, Walton Family Foundation. Moderated by Mohan Sivaloganathan, Net Impact Board Member and CEO, Our Turn

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About Our Speakers: 

Ebonee Younger, Product Manager, Cox Communications

Ebonee Younger has one of the best roles at Cox Communications as the Product Manager for Connect2Compete. Connect2Compete is Cox's affordable broadband adoption program, which has helped connect over 700,000 low-income families with school-aged children since its inception in 2012. In this dynamic role, Ebonee has both product lifecycle and programmatic responsibility. Ebonee champions digital equity & inclusion through partnerships with various stakeholders and by advocating for underserved communities. Ebonee was recently presented with a Synergy Award for her efforts involving Cox's response to COVID-19. In less than three months, her team connected over 31,000 families to quality, in-home broadband. 

Before this role in product management & technology, Ebonee spent fourteen years in human resources as a business partner and employment practices expert. Ebonee resides in Atlanta, GA, where she's leading in several community organizations, including LEAD Atlanta, Junior League of Atlanta, and SHRM-Atlanta. 

Romy Drucker, K-12 Education Program Deputy Director, Walton Family Foundation

Romy is a deputy director for the K-12 Education Program at the Walton Family Foundation. In this role, she oversees team operations and grantmaking strategies. Prior to joining the foundation, Romy was the co-founder and CEO of The 74, an award-winning nonprofit news organization focused on education. Prior to launching The 74, Romy worked at the New York City Department of Education on Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein's transformational Children First reforms. Romy served as chief of staff for the Division of Portfolio Planning working on efforts including new school development, school improvement and accountability, and early childhood education. Prior to that, Romy served as the special assistant to Chancellor Joel L. Klein and as deputy to the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund for Public Schools, which has raised several hundred million dollars for innovative educational programs serving New York City's 1.1 million students. 

Romy graduated cum laude from Yale College with a B.A. in Literature and Spanish language & literature and earned her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. 

Mohan Sivaloganathan, Net Impact Board Member and CEO, Our Turn

As a nonprofit leader by day and hip-hop MC by night, Mohan aka Ahmen is known as the "Batman of Social Impact." He unifies change-making initiatives with artistic efforts that galvanize the masses. In his "Bruce Wayne" world, Mohan is the CEO of Our Turn. As the "Dark Knight," Ahmen's music has been featured by ESPN, Hip-Hop DX, the World Economic Forum, and countless stages to advance social innovation.