Technology

Closing the Divides: A Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion

Event information
Date
Tue Jan 12, 2021
12:00pm - 1:00pm EST
Location
Virtual
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As COVID has accelerated the movement to “remote everything,” the digital exclusion of historically marginalized groups is facing crisis proportions. In response, the National Urban League, working with other civil rights organizations and public policy experts, is unveiling the Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion, a detailed and comprehensive agenda to deploy networks everywhere, connect everyone, and use the networks to improve how we deliver essential services for workforce development, healthcare, and education. 

We are joined by:

  • Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
  • Paula Boyd, Senior Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Microsoft
  • Donna Epps, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Strategic Alliances, Verizon
  • Brent Wilkes, Senior Vice President for Institutional Development, Hispanic Federation
  • Vivian Schiller, Executive Director, Aspen Digital

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Marc Morial HeadshotMarc H. Morial is President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. As Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002, Morial led New Orleans’ renaissance, and left office with a 70% approval rating. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and African American Studies, he also holds a law degree from the Georgetown University. Marc has played a major role in shedding a light on the needs of Black America during the COVID-19 crisis. From partnering with universal brands like the National Basketball Association to advocating for a balanced recovery on Capitol Hill, Marc is driving change for families who need it the most. 

Paula Boyd has more than twenty years of experience practicing before Congress, the Administration and regulatory agency to driving policy frameworks to increase broadband connectivity, enable the growth of cloud services, and enhance consumer access to technology products and services. Prior to joining Microsoft, Paula was Senior Counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications where she worked from May 1997 to December 2002. Paula graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College cum laude with an AB in Sociology in 1988 and received her JD from Harvard Law School in 1992.

Donna Epps is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Strategic Alliances for Verizon Communications. In this role, Ms. Epps is responsible for managing Verizon’s federal public policy efforts, including policy development and issues management. Ms. Epps also manages Verizon’s relationships with strategic third party organizations, including those representing various different consumer interests. In addition to her work at Verizon, Ms. Epps serves as a Trustee on the National Urban League Board and on the National Council of La Raza Corporate Advisory Board. She is a former trustee of the Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation. Prior to joining Verizon, Ms. Epps was in private practice with the law firm of Covington and Burling, a Washington, D.C-based law firm. She was a law clerk to Judge Audrey B. Collins of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Ms. Epps earned her J.D., with distinction, from Duke University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts with degree in Journalism and Public Relations from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and North Carolina.

Vivian Schiller is the Executive Director of Aspen Digital. A longtime executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology, Schiller has held executive roles at some of the most respected media organizations in the world. Those include: President and CEO of NPR; Global Chair of News at Twitter; General Manager of NYTimes.com; Chief Digital Officer of NBC News; Chief of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications; and Head of CNN documentary and long form divisions. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys. Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian.