Interpretive services are available for this session upon request.

If majority Black & Brown, historically disinvested communities do not own and control our own means of communication, we cannot succeed in organizing for housing, food, education, environmental justice, and racial equity. We will explore the development of a Community Internet Trust (CIT) grounded in trusted, authentic community relationships, that include reclaiming the data and infrastructure that have been weaponized against us. Participants will design the CIT model, create a foundation for intentional stewardship of the community’s data and its digital ecosystem, as well as identify positive cash flow opportunities via place-based investment in local digital entrepreneurship. Participants will contribute to the creation of a revolutionary model that enhances the decentralized community internet networks to assure ownership. Local ownership of the infrastructure enables the Trusts to partner with government and industry for flexibility, scale, and revenue.

Call for participation:

The Community Internet Trust (CIT) model is a governance approach led by local residents of color and designed to pool and leverage the underlying assets needed for the community to capture, develop, and retain long-term investment and revenue via community-owned, future-ready broadband infrastructure. During this gathering, we will share how we are developing a CIT that is grounded in trusted, authentic community relationships and one that is able to contain the elements of a healthy digital ecosystem. We will identify pathways to reclaim the data and infrastructure that have been weaponized against our communities as well as strategies for engaging local residents, organizing networks, policymakers and the philanthropic community. This gathering is intended to convene visionaries, community members, organizers, practitioners and policy, legal, and industry experts. Participants from our July 2021 Roundtable will reconvene and spend time dissecting, investigating information from the roundtable and creating a strategic plan.

We will explore big questions around infrastructure, legal policy, advocacy and community ownership including:

  • Can big tech be held responsible for unhealthy living conditions they offer via misinformation?
  • How do we best work with private, public and other partners to build a CIT?
  • What kinds of models can we use to monetize our networks toward sustainability and offer social benefits?

What is the most sustainable network we can build to address our climate vulnerabilities?

This Network Gathering is invitation only and will be held both online and in person. Our communities and session participants will be able to access educational materials including zines that define healthy digital ecosystems, a Consentful Technology and Privacy curriculum, a website, policy papers, and case studies on legal frameworks for collective ownership structures.

For more information, please reach out to Monique Tate at monique[@]
and Janice Gates at janice[@]