USC Community Based Efforts to Bridge the Digital Divide
The University of Southern California is engaged in local efforts to bridge the digital divide. The efforts mentioned in this article are spearheaded by local community groups in collaboration with the Annenberg School of Communication. These projects utilize technology or arts education for community advocacy and organizing towards equitable social outcomes. A clear theme of these projects is that IT is a valuable resource in increasing neighborhood cohesiveness and solidarity.
VozMob is a platform for immigrant and non-immigrant low-wage workers in Los Angeles to create stories about their lives using their cell phones. This program expands workers’ ability to participate in the digital public sphere, especially for those with limited access to computers. VozMob showcases digital stories by day laborers, household workers, high school students, and other community members, which can range from political calls to action to creative works like poetry, music, and art (Costanza-Chock, 2011).
Metamorphosis Project and Meta Connects
The Metamorphosis Project studies the transformation of urban communities and the impact of communication technology and demographic diversity on communities in Los Angeles. One of the projects’ partnerships with the Bresee Foundation Community Center, a nonprofit community center serving low-income youth and families , was the annual Youth Film Festival on Social Justice. The festival trains young people to create short films on important social issues affecting LA youth such as urban housing conditions, immigration, education, the economic recession, and community heroes.
About this project
The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, a university research center with the mission to address the challenges and opportunities of demographic diversity in the 21st century global city, has produced these featured digital publications using the USC Media Curator, an online publishing platform designed to bring together innovative research from across the University of Southern California and beyond. This project curates research relevant for immigrant service providers on the topics of Access & Use of Technology, Access & Use of Financial Services, Notario Fraud, and Driver's Licenses for the unauthorized.