August 23, 2011 - 11:03 am
Embrace Now, this year’s National Council of La Raza (NCLR) conference, kicked off at the end of July. The Commission was well represented as we exhibited at the conference’s National Latino Family Expo. We provided information on a range of topics from the Do Not Call Registry to unwanted telephone marketing calls and information on finding local broadcast television stations. Of particular interest was Lifeline - which provides eligible consumers a basic monthly discount on one basic local service - and Link-Up - which pays for part of a connection or activation charge for new phone service. Consumers who were not aware of the eligibility requirements or restrictions were advised to contact their local service provider or public utilities commission. Most attendees who visited our booth wanted information on how to file an informal complaint or how to comment. NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Their annual conference addresses critical issues in the Hispanic community, such as education, immigration, employment, health, housing, and the environment. This year’s Líderes Summit, a national program designed to create opportunities for Latino youth, included workshops on leadership, media and social media. While the conference offered many informative workshops, I was pleased to attend Latinos and the Internet: Jobs, Education and Empowerment in the Digital Economy. The workshop, which featured our own Commissioner Mignon Clyburn among the panelists, discussed how the Internet continues to be a resource for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities yet many Hispanic families do not have the necessary digital literacy skills, funds or access to broadband to take advantage. It was interesting to learn how community based organizations are focusing on addressing these issues. These groups include the League of Latin American Citizens, through their Community Technology Centers, and corporations such as Comcast, through its Internet Essentials Program. Embrace Now was a wonderful conference and I look forward to participating in future NCLR events.