Advocating for Digital Equity: A Facilitator Guide for Catalyzing Immigrant and Refugee Community Members
The Transforming Immigrant Digital Equity (TIDE) project was born out of a critical need to engage and educate service providers and policymakers in three overlapping spaces: adult English language learning, digital equity and inclusion, and immigrant inclusion. Over the past two years, TIDE has designed and piloted an ecosystem model for equitable English language learning and digital resilience, supported adult education and immigrant service providers’ advocacy efforts around the Digital Equity Act of 2021, and uplifted successful models for technology-enabled learning.
Advocating for Digital Equity: A Facilitator Guide for Catalyzing Immigrant and Refugee Community Members builds on this work by supporting immigrants’ and refugees’ right to tell their own stories and lived experiences with the digital divide. For there to be equity in the English language learning and digital resilience ecosystem, we must center the experiences and expertise of adult immigrants and refugees, and recognize them as not only learners or recipients of services, but also co-designers, subject matter experts, community advocates, and perhaps most importantly, agents of change.
The guide is designed for adult education practitioners, staff at immigrant and refugee serving organizations, and other individuals who work directly with multilingual adult immigrant and refugee learners. It is organized into three modules: 1) Learning About and Reflecting on Digital Equity, 2) Collecting Data on Digital Equity, and 3) Using Storytelling for Advocacy.
Advocating for Digital Equity draws on the values and work of the following initiatives by World Education and our partners:
- The Change Agent is an online magazine for adult educators and learners published with support from the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC) at World Education. Featuring writing by adult learners with a focus on social justice issues, The Change Agent was conceived in 1994 as a tool to help teachers and learners apply advocacy skills in response to impending federal funding cutbacks for adult education and continues to serve as a resource that centers learner voice.
- CrowdED Learning, an initiative of World Education, works to build a sustainable, equitable open education ecosystem that increases access to quality education and lifelong learning for all. Its SkillBlox platform makes it easy for instructors to find, organize, adapt, and share quality free content with learners. Elements of this toolkit have been shared via SkillBlox for easy access and adaptation.
- Communicative Justice Initiative (CJI), a collaboration of practitioners at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), advances communicative justice in immigrant and refugee communities by teaching data literacy in the adult English language learning classroom and other settings. Communicative justice upholds the right of marginalized communities to be included in and lead conversations about data – what data is collected, who is represented, and how data is interpreted, shared, and put to use. World Education is an ongoing partner in CJI’s work.
- The Immigrant Voices Podcast Project, an initiative of the Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston, features interviews with immigrants enrolled in the Academy’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. The podcast aims to share the lives, journeys, struggles, and successes of immigrants in their own words, and to foster acceptance and empathy through storytelling. World Education is not directly affiliated with the Immigrant Voices Podcast Project aside from being fans and listeners.