“How might we bring technological equity to the Bronx?”

NYC’s digital divide – 500 K household have no internet access – has become salient with schools closing in March 2020. One of the immediate effects of COVID-19 is to uncover and potentially widen the digital divide in low-income communities such as the South Bronx. As schools won’t reopen completely and online learning will still be a bit component of youth’s everyday learning experience, the dire lack of internet access and devices needs to be addressed: over 150k NYC children live in households without internet and nearly 80,000 school-aged children live in households with Internet access but may lack a device from which they can learn.

Inspired by such data, we would like to explore the following questions:
“How might we provide access to technology for all students in the Bronx?”
In other words, “How might we bring technological equity to the Bronx?”

This project has an impact beyond the pandemics. If COVID-19 has highlighted the needs of youth in the Bronx and made its consequences visible, the needs for technological equity goes beyond. It has been shown that the impact of the digital divide in Bronx has been detrimental to the livelihood of many children and adults in the community.

Starting this semester, DFA NYU, Design for America of NYU (DFA NYU) a student organization, where we use human-centered design to tackle social issues and create social impact in our communities would like to address this year in a unique collaboration with DreamYard, an organization which since 1994 “collaborates with Bronx youth, families and schools to build pathways to equity and opportunity through the arts.” In order to make sure to design “with” rather than “for” the community, and with the desire to share our passion for human-centered design, the team will be composed of 3 DFA NYU students and 3 youth and members from DreamYard.