Ten years’ post Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans launched its long-term Resilience Strategy, which states that “all New Orleanians should have the opportunity to gain the skills, training, education, and support needed to participate fully in our economy, to prosper, and to reach their full potential.”
One pathway to achieve this goal involves bridging the Digital Divide by equipping historically underrepresented residents with the technological skills and resources necessary to advance in their current careers, launch new careers, and to become more resilient as individuals. As these residents become more professionally competitive, New Orleans will become more equitable, economically competitive, and better positioned to prepare for and recover from crises, and therefore ultimately, more resilient as a city.
However, a perception among the target population is that technology is for other people – people who are often a different race or ethnicity or people with more money and education. This misperception often hinders efforts to address the Digital Divide. People who view technology as a tool for others are likely to be intimidated by it and may not respond well to traditional efforts to improve digital literacy such as basic computer and technology skills, further exacerbating the Digital Divide.
Therefore, New Orleans proposes to tackle this issue by ensuring all residents can access 21st century technology tools, regardless of background.
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