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The Alliance for Digital Equality met on January 15 at University of Southern California with a crowd consisting of politicians, executives, celebrities and people concerned about the digital divide.

The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) is a non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities. Hill Harper, Tavis Smiley and CNN’s Mario Armstrong served as moderators for the day long conference. Other celebrities in attendance included Malik Yoba, Sheila E. and several mayors from across the United States including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigoisa.

Hill Harper and Yoba

What is the Digital Divide? According to a study by the Internet International Alliance only 42% of African American and Latino’s use the internet regularly dropping to 30% occasionally. The concern is that a large sector of society will be dysfunctional considering technology of the internet extends homework assigned on computers, ecommerce, and more. The lack of resources is effecting the education of children. The organization provides digital literacy programs to Blacks and Latinos.

Sheila E at the Alliance for Digital Equality

Sheila E is Afro Latina, while attending the conference she made the decision commit to the social cause in a leadership role. Known for her outstanding skills as a drummer and her 1980’s hit The Glamorous Life, a new regional branch of ADE is getting established in Los Angeles. Her commitment to social causes extends to Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF) which is dedicated to providing abused and abandoned children an alternative method of therapy through music and the arts, and funding special services and programs that assist the needs of these children using these fundamental methods. The program also incorporates computer use for youth.

ADE’s goal is to educate Americans about the benefits of new broadband technologies and be a voice of underserved communities to raise awareness of the importance of new technologies regardless of socioeconomic status.

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