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Morino Institute From Access to Outcomes: Digital Divide Report and Dialogue
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Making the Case for Technology Within the Community




Dec 23, 2000


Mario Morino

Carlos, I can appreciate your concerns about the characterization of low-income communities. There is, however, a challenge and it goes right to the phrase that Greg so aptly noted that the real Digital Divide lies between the faith in technology and the facts of low-income communities.

For many of those engaging in the digital divide efforts, there needs to be a much more factual and first-hand understanding of these communities, where they are, what they face, and how formidable the odds they face really are. For many like yourself, you understand this, probably all too well. But the failures I've seen in this area come from a lack of effective dialog and honesty around these gaps in understanding. It is why one person believes that the most important thing we must do is get tech people energized to wire schools, when others look at this person in disbelief as to their basic misunderstanding of the needs of those they seek to help.

Please help us in walking this fine line. How do we get across to those with the resources who want to help what the challenges really are? Simply speaking of what is needed is inadequate in my view, for it never states the bluntness of the problem. Yet we do want to highlight and respect the talents and assets that these communities possess and the leadership that does exist. Your help and advice on this one would be most appreciated.


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