Digital Divide Programs
Publius actively encourages citizens to use the Web as an
interactive conduit to government, and works with local governments
to find creative ways to get public information systems online,
in an ongoing effort to find ways to bridge the growing "Digital
Ten years from now access to technical knowledge will be
a civil right. Participation in our democracy will be facilitated
through interactive information systems. Cities like Detroit
and rural areas in Michigan could either become the examples
of how to tackle these issues head-on and develop solutions
that work, or the epicenter of another profound division down
all too familiar social, economic, and racial lines.
The following initiatives fall under The Publius Digital Bridge
Program, each in varied stages of development. Some have been
completed some are colloaboative efforts. All of these programs
are based in our home community of Detroit:
The Publius Digital Bridge Program
Publius' Digital Bridge program acknowledges that the reality
of the digital divide is that the Web is currently not relevant
to everyone. In certain economically depressed urban and rural
areas a lack of discretionary income removes the conveniences
of commerce on the Web. The result, in these areas, is an
information resource that has more encyclopedic value than
local information. The story of the evolution of the Web is
one of the proliferation of localized and even personal information
creating fertile ground for commercial development. Where
that localization has stopped or slowed due to access or income
issues is the real rift of the digital divide.
The Publius Digital Bridge program constitutes a coordinated
effort of several initiatives and opportunities for people
in those areas who want to participate, but are denied access.
It does not present the Web as a solution to the world's problems,
and does not directly target those who do not feel the Web
is important to them (they may be right).
Our Primary bridge program in
2002 is the Detroit Youth Technology Outreach (DYTO).
DYTO is an experimental startup of high school students
based in southwest Detroit dedicated to promoting the use
of technology in inner-city communities (www.dyto.org).
The program is run as a civic engagement initiative through
Publius.org, and Michigan States Kids Learning in Computer
Klubhouses (KLICK) program A sample of thier work can be found
Other and Past programs
Publius4Schools/The 1800 Project
Encourages pre-voters to use the Internet to research elections
and to become involved and understand their upcoming responsibilities
Phone Access Portal (411-4ACCESS)
Enables users to quickly locate the nearest publicly accessible
Internet terminal, computer training center, and other information
technology resources over the phone
The Youth Tech Corps
An apprenticeship/entrepreneurship program where work-study
students are allowed to participate in the implementation
of major IT projects, culminating in access to resources to
Community Service Providers
Community Access web hosting facilities
The PC Recovery System
The PC Recovery system is a process that trains students (age
11 up) who have no experience to restore discarded computers
to full functionality in 2 hours. The course can be integrated
with a certified Pre-A+ Curriculum.
If you would like additional information on any of the programs
listed above contact us here.