This page is for paid virtual meeting attendees

Please note session links are activated 10 minutes prior to the meeting start time.  

Where Are We Right Now? | 9 a.m.

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On February 10, 2020, the Institute for Emerging Issues brought state and local leaders together to discuss the urgency of fixing North Carolina’s digital divide. One month later, COVID-19 highlighted just how critical the need really is. Communities mobilized, businesses pitched in, and state and national leaders made significant investments and implemented much-needed policy. And it’s helped some North Carolinians tremendously. But far too many are still left behind. This session will discuss where we are right now and what state and national policy decisions have been made–and not made–when it comes to digital inclusion. Watch Session Recording 


  • Leslie Boney | Director, Institute for Emerging Issues Read Bio
  • Keynote: John Burchett | Director of Policy and Community Affairs, Google Fiber Read Bio
  • Moderator: James Amato | Manager, Strategic Business Development, WRAL Digital Solutions Read Bio


Discussion Sessions | 10:05 a.m. 

These active engagement sessions are a space to hear about the real-time digital inclusion challenges being experienced by local communities and hear from experts and other participants on promising solutions. Participants are encouraged to share stories, information, and resources and learn from others across different sectors, regions and perspectives. These sessions will be facilitated by IEI staff but driven by participants. The more diverse the audience, the richer the discussion.


  • Remote learning solutions for underconnected students Join Session
    • Arlane Gordon-Bray | IZONE Community Engagement Partner at Edgecombe County Public Schools Read Bio
    • Caroline Sullivan | Executive Director, North Carolina Business Committee on Education Read Bio
  • How community groups, churches, and businesses can provide public broadband Join Session
    • Sara Nichols | Regional Planner, Land of Sky Regional Council Read Bio
    • Rishara Finsel | Library Director, Transylvania County Library Read Bio
  • What is a ‘digital navigator’ and how do I get one? Join Session
    • Paolo Balboa | Program Manager, National Digital Inclusion Alliance Read Bio
    • Nan Buehrer | Executive Director, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center Read Bio
    • Anna Eagle | Fitness and Wellness Manager, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center Read Bio
  • Help! How do I provide digital literacy classes…virtually? Join Session
    • Dawn Gibson | Executive Pastor, Peletah Ministries Read Bio
    • Gwenn Weaver | Independent Consultant and Board Member, Durham Literacy Center Read Bio
  • Digital Inclusion 101 and why your community should have a digital inclusion plan Join Session
    • Amy Huffman | Digital Inclusion and Policy Manager, Broadband Infrastructure Office Read Bio


Getting Off The Hamster Wheel | 11 a.m.

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How do we stop having the same conversations and finally do what’s necessary to move towards digital equity? This session will address how we move from stop-gap measures to policy change, the true cost of achieving digital inclusion and the public/private partnerships needed to make North Carolina the first in digital equity. Watch Session Recording


  • Dr. Nicol Turner Lee | Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director for the Center for Technology Innovation, Brookings Read Bio
  • Jayme Danzig | Director, Education and Employment, Rocket Community Fund Read Bio
  • Kathryn de Wit | Manager, Broadband Research Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts Read Bio
  • Thomas Parrish | Acting Secretary for the NC Department of Information Technology Read Bio