Angela Siefer
National Digital Inclusion Alliance
[email protected]

National Digital Inclusion Alliance Names Next Century Cities’ Deb Socia the 2018 Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion

Deb SociaNDIA is proud to award the third annual Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award to Deb Socia.  Deb has been a teacher, school administrator, technology program innovator, and national leader of a coalition of cities that are defining their own broadband futures.  In every sphere, her efforts have been marked by high achievement and rigorous quality.  She is an advocate for equity in education, in technology and in civic life.

Currently, Deb serves as the founding Executive Director of Next Century Cities, a national nonprofit that supports community leaders working to secure fast, affordable, and reliable Internet for their localities.  With more than 180 members, Next Century Cities brings visibility to broadband issues and informs policy at multiple levels, celebrating local initiative and successes. Before joining NCC, she directed the Tech Goes Home program in Boston, a carefully designed digital equity program that became a national model for linking parents, children and schools to technology resources.  Earlier, she spent 32 years as an educator and administrator, including serving as the founding Principal of the award winning Lilla G. Frederick Middle School in Boston, a pioneer in one-to-one laptop programs.

Deb has received many awards, including: NATOA Community Broadband Hero, Pathfinder Award from MassCUE, “Leadership and Vision” from CRSTE, Frederick Community Advocate Award, and an NTENny award.

NDIA formed in the spring of 2015 to serve as a unified voice for local technology training, home broadband access, and public broadband access programs. The organizations that comprise NDIA work together to create, locate, and share financial and operational resources for digital inclusion programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public.

Benton, a 36-year old operating foundation, humanizes communications policy, helping people understand how it directly impacts their ability to live and thrive in our democracy. The foundation realizes its goals by:

  • Providing the only free, reliable, and non-partisan daily digest that curates and distributes news related to communications and media policy through the lens of democracy and public interest issues;
  • Connecting communications policy stakeholders by sharing information and analysis to frame and promote conversation and a more inclusive debate; and
  • Supporting legal and policy experts who create and defend important communications policies.

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