Countdown to Community Exchange 2024: 5 Internet2 Insights You’ll Hear in Chicago (Part 4)

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By Amber Rasche - Senior Communications Specialist, Internet2

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In this Countdown to Community Exchange 2024 series, we’re sharing five Internet2 insights you’ll hear from Internet2 staff and community collaborators in Chicago, March 4-7. 

In part four, we’re highlighting collective efforts to expand access and support the underrepresented and underserved. If you missed them, be sure to catch parts one through three about the future of identity and access management, translating research needs into solutions, and developments in advanced networking.

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Internet2 2024 Community Exchange graphic

Internet2 Insight #4: Expanding Access and Supporting the Underrepresented and Underserved

eduroam for every student! With momentum and unique new opportunities driving community-centered solutions, Internet2 and eduroam Support Organizations are working to expand access and bridge the digital divide with the global Wi-Fi access service. Internet2’s Sara Jeanes and Mike Zawacki will facilitate a panel session on March 5 about Deploying eduroam at a Statewide Level. Jeff Egly, Utah Education and Telehealth Network, and representatives from other eduroam Support Organizations will participate in the discussion.

Mike Zawacki

“Deploying eduroam at a Statewide Level is an ideal session for state and regional R&E networks who are curious about the eduroam Support Organizations program and its potential to help bridge the homework gap and connectivity divide in their states. We’ll dive deeper into the program’s recent outcomes and opportunities with insights from community leaders.”

– Mike Zawacki, eduroam Support Organizations Program Manager, Internet2

Connecting the Unconnected is a global challenge. Undoubtedly, R&E community expertise will remain untapped until we solve it. Lanika Starks, Internet2 and the Minority Serving – Cyberinfrastructure Consortium (MS-CC), will join Mark Wolff, CANARIE, María José Lopez, RedCLARA, and Oswaldo de Freitas Alves, RNP, for a panel discussion on March 6. They’ll share how each organization is working to connect institutions that are traditionally underserved and under-resourced. Additionally, don’t miss the opportunity to hear directly from the MS-CC Consortium Leadership Board. They’ll present a session on MS-CC: Bridging Access Gaps, Enabling Collaborations with CI on March 5.

Lanika Starks

“A key component of connecting the unconnected is centering the voices and insights of individuals and communities that have historically faced barriers in gaining access to the internet and ensuring they have ownership over conversations that impact the decisions affecting their communities. Once you create these spaces for inclusion within the greater research and education community, you can leverage the collective knowledge, skills, and expertise that can meaningfully impact research outcomes and increase diversity in the STEM workforce.”

– Lanika Starks, Senior Director Program Operations, Internet2 and MS-CC

We all benefit when the community brings new voices and perspectives to critical conversations. Join the Internet2 Inclusivity (I2I) Lunch Session on March 5. There, we’ll welcome the I2I Scholarship recipients who are first-time Community Exchange attendees. Internet2’s Ana Hunsinger and Michael Erickson will share an update on the I2I Initiative and recognize this year’s scholarship recipients. Then Sarah Blithe, NCWIT, will discuss Combating Anti-DEI Rhetoric and Developing New Strategies for Inclusive Leaders. Blithe will also host an NCWIT Tech Inclusion Journey workshop on March 4 to help organizations create a strategic action plan.

Up Next

Stay tuned next week for the final part of the series Countdown to Community Exchange. We’ll preview the insights Internet2 staff will share at CommEX24 about tools to harness the transformative power of the cloud.