UCC Media Justice worked with thirteen General Synod delegates and Wider Church Ministries and Global HOPE to develop a resolution titled, Closing the Digital Divide: Calling on the United Church of Christ to Seek Digital Justice and Inclusion. The resolution will be put to a vote at the denomination’s 34th national convening held in Indianapolis, Indiana from June 30 – July 4, 2023. UCC Media Justice is very proud to bring this issue to wider understanding in our churches and around the country. UC News covered the resolution in this week’s edition.
The proposed resolution encourages the UCC to advocate and support not just internet access, but meaningful digital access:
It is incumbent upon us, as people of faith, to advocate for equitable access to the internet for all who experience stumbling blocks in their access to safe, reliable, quality internet services and to ensure, once they have access to the internet, that they are treated fairly online and have access to the skills and knowledge needed to make full use of those tools.
UCC Media Justice plans to host an implementation meeting at General Synod on how to help low-income families with internet access and work with state programs nationwide to ensure all households and community institutions, including churches, are connected to high-speed internet. It will take place Tuesday, July 4th, once the afternoon plenary closes, around 4:30, in Room 102 of the convention center. Our Love Your Neighbor: Get Them Internet campaign encourages spreading the word about the Affordable Connectivity Program, with flyers available for use in English, Spanish and Mandarin.
“The UCC’s Media Justice Ministry is over 60 years old, and other advocates and nonprofits look to our denomination for leadership on communications rights,” said Cheryl A. Leanza, UCC Media Justice’ policy advisor. “This year’s General Synod resolution is an important part of generations of witness and leadership for the UCC, and part of our work to help UCC members and churches to ensure everyone has affordable access to high quality internet.”
In addition to domestic issues, the resolution highlights the importance of bridging “the many forms of digital divide” as an important consideration for human rights around the world.
“There are few areas of life not touched by the challenges that come with limited digital access, easily seen in the systemic distribution of digital resources which disproportionately favors the Global North,” said Josh Baird, UCC Global H.O.P.E. team leader.
Image credit: Zackary Drucker, The Gender Spectrum Collection.