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Students in the MANA Hermanitas Program visiting the United States Capitol

Recently, MANA joined many of the country’s major civil rights organizations in a letter to President Biden and Congress urging federal action to create a permanent, affordable broadband solution for low-income Americans. In a sign of this issue’s importance and strong appeal, a cross-section of consumer and corporate groups aligned to convey the urgency and need for immediate action. Together, we are issuing a call to action for lawmakers to solve a worsening problem. As schools and businesses closed due to the COVID pandemic, we immediately saw the negative impacts due to gaps in digital equity and literacy. …

Student in MANA Hermanitas Program doing homework

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time of reflection. The gift of hindsight allows us to look back on all of the progress that has been made for the Hispanic community, yet for advocates, it also means we must bring into focus all that remains to be done. This year, the specter of COVID-19 looms large over our community. A recent headline from Pew Research says it all: “Coronavirus Economic Downturn Has Hit Latinos Especially Hard.” Unfortunately, all the data supports this: Latino unemployment tripled between February and June. Among Hispanic women, unemployment this summer was more than 20%.

And we…

Latina students learning about the Digital Divide
Latina students learning about the Digital Divide

The more we learn about the impacts of the coronavirus, we see that the Latino community is being devastated. Whether from disproportionate numbers of Latinos contracting the virus, skyrocketing unemployment, the dangerous conditions essential Latino workers are being forced to endure, or how our families are dealing with the new realities of homeschooling, we need to have conversations that shed light on the Latino experience. Having our voices on the airwaves is critical to helping Latinos relate to and absorb the important information that impacts our communities. NPR’s latest Alt.Latino program with Felix Contreras and Marisa Peñaloza is the window…

MANA students advocating for representation on Capitol Hill

In the past month, Americans have joined our fellow humans across the globe in coming to terms with what the spread of COVID-19 will mean for our everyday lives. As states make emergency declarations, public events are increasingly getting cancelled, companies are mandating work from home, and schools are closing as precautions to prevent the further spread of the Novel Coronavirus, we are all facing major disruption to our lives and daily schedules. Families are worried about the impact to their finances, their children’s education, and their overall well-being. …

If you follow tech policy, especially as it relates to the Latino community in the U.S., you should check out the interesting blog posted by my friend Alejandro Roark over at HTTP on the need to spur faster broadband access for underserved communities. For Latinos, and all too many children lacking high-speed internet access, broadband deployment is a crucial issue. Congress cannot continue to kick the can down the road. Federal laws need to be updated to encourage more broadband deployment, preferably while also improving our online privacy protections.

As an example of the urgency, we are looking at the…

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Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have greatly accelerated the development and deployment of facial recognition technology. While this exciting technology offers tremendous potential, without adequate rules and safeguards in place, the probability of facial recognition being misused and abused by law enforcement warrants serious attention from policymakers. Once the technology is widely released, it will be even more difficult to solve for privacy concerns resulting from data breaches and other misuse of the information collected.

Unforeseen applications for facial recognition will undoubtedly transform the consumer experience and could even strengthen security and privacy efforts; however, as with…

Students in the MANA Hermanitas Program in Washington, DC

Without a doubt, the internet has opened countless doors for disenfranchised or underrepresented communities — especially women, people of color, rural communities, and the LGBTQ community. However, in recent years, a darker side of the digital revolution has emerged as online data and privacy concerns have become a pervasive part of the national conversation regarding the future of the internet.

Security breach after security breach has exposed tens of millions of consumers’ personal information, leaving many rightfully skeptical about their online safety. …

Amy Hinojosa

President and CEO of MANA, A National Latina Organization

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