Virginia Eubanks! I just found out about Virginia and I have to say I’m pretty excited. Thinking about technology in relation to gender, race, and class is what she *does* ! I wish she could have been on my Div III committee. Check it out:
The idea that technology will pave the road to prosperity has been promoted through both boom and bust. Today we are told that universal broadband access, high-tech jobs, and cutting-edge science will pull us out of our current economic downturn and move us toward social and economic equality. In Digital Dead End, Virginia Eubanks argues that to believe this is to engage in a kind of magical thinking: a technological utopia will come about simply because we want it to. This vision of the miraculous power of high-tech development is driven by flawed assumptions about race, class, and gender. The realities of the information age are more complicated, particularly for poor and working-class women and families. READ ALL
She came to her research on technology, poverty and women’s citizenship through a history of activism in community media and technology center movements. READ ALL
And as a lady (and college graduate…) who recently has had to go on State health insurance, and is in the (tortuous, tedious, tumultuous) process of applying for Food Stamps (yes, that’s right ladies and gentleman), this really, really resonates.
Our Knowledge, Our Power draws on values of respect, local expertise, grassroots process and true democracy to make real, meaningful change in the terribly unfair and exploitative system of public assistance in New York State, which keeps people dependent and poor. We try to counteract the alienation and lack of respect that public assistance “beneficiaries” often encounter by sharing information and resources to bridge the gap between public assistance recipients and workers/politicians/the general public.
We believe we can bridge this gap by drawing on our collective power to:
o Empower people most directly impacted by the social service system;
o Enlighten people about their rights in the system;
o Provide tools for navigating the system;
o Help with the application process;
o Facilitate knowledge sharing; and
o Share our needs, challenges and aspirations with other members of the community.