Rural Broadband in the time of COVID

We invite you to join us for two livestream conversations about the role of broadband access in rural areas and tribal lands in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In response to COVID-19, local, state, federal and tribal governments have ordered the closing of schools and businesses, and non-essential employees have been instructed to work from home. These necessary changes in daily life require a necessary service – broadband. 
Yet, according to the Federal Communications Commission, about 30 million people still do not have broadband access, with 35%of residents in rural areas and 40% of residents in tribal lands lacking service.
During a time when staying home is our collective duty, are rural and tribal residents able to rely on broadband access to continue to study, work, and obtain healthcare?
April 16, 4pm ET

What is the rural and tribal broadband experience during COVID-19?
This panel conversation will feature the experiences of residents from rural and Native communities in accessing broadband service during a time when Internet access is necessary to work, study, and receive health care, safely. Panelists will represent the education, healthcare, business, and Opportunity Youth sectors. This conversation does not present solutions, instead, it seeks to learn about the impact that substandard or lack of Internet service has on the safety and wellbeing of rural and Native communities.

Panelists include:
Mark Estrada, Superintendent, Lockhart ISD – Lockhart, Texas;
Dr. Libby Cope, health Director, Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center – Neah Bay, Washington;
Tim Lampkin, CEO, Higher Purpose Co. – Clarksdale, Mississippi;
Kim Phinney, Youth Practitioner; Senior Fellow, Center for Rural Strategies – Vermont;
Moderator, Edyael Casaperalta, Attorney, Casaperalta Law- Denver, Colorado.

Did you join in the conversation? Share your thoughts about the event in our post-conversation survey here. 

April 22, 4pm ET

Has the government’s response been adequate?
The second conversation will feature analysis from broadband advocates about the recent actions from policymakers, including the Federal Communications Commission, in response to the challenge of broadband access in rural and Native communities. Panelists will discuss how these actions have helped, and what needs to improve to adequately address broadband access in rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panelists include:
Loris Taylor, CEO, Native Public Media;
Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel, Public Knowledge;
Irene Flannery, Director, AMERIND, Critical Infrastructure;
Roberto Gallardo, Assistant Director, Center for Regional Development, Purdue University;

Beth O’Connor, Executive Director, Virginia Rural Health Association; 
Moderator, Edyael Casaperalta, Attorney, Casaperalta Law- Denver, Colorado.

Wednesday’s livestream will be hosted on the Daily Yonder’s YouTube page linked here. The conversation will begin shortly after 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

Let us know you’ll participate! Fill out this quick form below. (If you already filled out the form for Part 1 you do not need to fill it out again for Part 1)

Video: Brady Piñero Walkinshaw 

Earth Alliance CEO Brady Walkinshaw talks about changing mindsets about the climate crisis — and why he thinks rural communities will play a critical role in solving it.

Read More »

Video: Citizen Power with Jonathan Blair + Sam Schimmel

Hear from Sam Schimmel and Jonathan Blair, co-creators of the ongoing documentary media and public engagement initiative from Citizen Film titled American Creed: Citizen Power, that explores American idealism and activism from a range of young adult perspectives. Learn how they are working to build safer, more connected communities, the barriers they face, and their advice for other young rural community organizers.

Read More »
Illustrated photo of Nancy XiáoRong Valentine

Drawing Resilience: Nancy XiáoRong Valentine

A conversation about resilience, art, and culture with Nancy XiáoRong Valentine. Valentine is a 2024 Rural Regenerator Fellow with Springboard for the Arts and was awarded a 2023 Creative Support for Individual Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a 2023 Legacy Individual Arts grant from the Lake Region Arts Council.

Read More »