WASHINGTON, DC (September 11, 2017) – Today, the National Urban League announced President and CEO Marc H. Morial's appointment by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai to serve on the FCC's Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, which has been established to provide recommendations on how to empower disadvantaged communities.
Morial said, "I am pleased to have been selected by Chairman Pai to be a member of this important body. Millions of Americans are trapped in the digital divide. Most of whom live in rural areas, are low-income or only have access to the Internet via their mobile phones, which has its limitations. This Advisory Committee will counsel the FCC in addressing the kinds of communications issues that disproportionately affect marginalized communities to help bring tens of millions of Americans online and further diversity in the industry."
The Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE) will also work to accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries as owners, suppliers, and employees. In addition, they will make recommendations on how to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not denied the wide range of opportunities made possible by next-generation networks.
Julia Johnson, president of NetCommunications and board member of the National Urban League, will Chair the committee. Other members of the committee include: Vice Chair Diane Sutter, ShootingStar Broadcasting; Kathleen Abernathy, Wilkinson Barker Knauer; Maria Brennan, Women in Cable Telecommunications; Rudy Brioche, Comcast Corporation; Ron Busby, Sr., U.S. Black Chambers; Victor Cerda, V-me Media; Brigitte Daniel, Wilco Electronic Systems; Jannette Dates, Howard University School of Communications; Linda Spradley Dunn, Odyssey Media; Donna M. Epps, Verizon; Andre Fernandez, CBS Corporation; Maurita Coley Flippin, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council; Heather Gate, Connected Nation; David Honig, JulGlo Productions; Janice Bryant Howroyd, Act-1 Group; Dr. Ronald Johnson, The Wireless Infrastructure Association; Sherman Kizart, Kizart Media Partners; Fatema Kothari, San Francisco Bay Area Internet Society; Mario Lopez, Hispanic Leadership Fund; Javier Palomarez, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Henry Rivera, Emma Bowen Foundation;Alfredo Rodriguez, Dish Network; Brian Scarpelli, ACT/The App Association; Cindy (Xin) Shao, Asian American Chamber of Commerce; Marie Sylla-Dixon, T-Mobile USA; Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, Brookings Institution Center for Technology Innovation; Brent Wilkes, League of Latin American Citizens; James Winston, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters; and Chris Wood, LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute.
ACDDE will hold its first meeting on September 25, 2017.