A Googler And Her Mission To Address The Digital Divide

daynise-joseph

Daynise Joseph is a Nashville native and Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber Nashville. She is all about digital inclusion and has a mission to connect more digitally divided communities online. Google Fiber is the presenting sponsor for Urban Digital Nashville 2015 + 2016.

You connect with diverse communities in Nashville. Tell us a little about your role at Google Fiber::

I am the Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber in Nashville. It is an exciting role as I lead our strategy and community investments for digital inclusion. This affords me the opportunity to work with community leaders, residents, and other stakeholders to identify ways to get more people from digitally divided communities online. Along with digital inclusion, we also look for ways to expand STEM opportunities for K-12 students with the goal of interoducing them early to the possiblity of STEM careers. Minority entrepreneurship is another area of focus, which is why we support events like Urban Digital to build the capacity of minority entrepreneurs through technology.

In addition, I also work with residents and neighborhood leaders to explain our construction process and address construction challenges that some residents periodically encounter. Building a fiber optic network is very complex and residents appreciate transparency.

What made you take the leap from community organizer to community guru for Google Fiber::

I have done community work in Nashville for many years and my current role is a natural extension of that work. In the past, I have worked on issues like food equality, public transportation, affordable housing and other quality of life issues. Today, more and more public services are moving online–some exclusively–and coordinating resources like affordable internet connections, low-cost or no-cost devices, and free digital literacy programs are critical to meaningful digital inclusion and increasing access to vital resources and opportunities.

As a native, why are you lovin’ Nashville right now:: 

There is so much to love about the city from the live music to economic growth but all of it boils down to one thing–people. I love the people of Nashville. Having always called Nashville home, I encounter so many people that I grew up with and it’s always great to see people (outside of social media) and hear a quick update on their life. I also enjoy all of the new relationships I developed through my years of dedicated service to the community and continue to make every day. None of the growth and opportunity could happen without people making it happen.

In tandem with that growth, I also appreciate the many people who continue to work on justice issues in the city and ensure that serious issues like homelessness, poverty, public education, affordable housing, and other critical issues remain top-of-mind as we plan for the future of Nashville.

Our community is all about living local, what are a few things you love to do in the city:: 

I love hiking and Nashville has several great options for hiking like Warner Parks, Radnor Lake, and the growing miles of Greenways. Outdoor festivals are another favorite and Nashville now has so many. I enjoy the 12 South Winter Warmer, Tomato Art Fest, Oktoberfest, Night Market, Sunset Safari, Movies in the Park, and many others. I am from Nashville and have witnessed the expansion of outdoor festivals firsthand and I love it!

I have lots of favorite local restaurants and one of those is definitely The Garden Brunch Cafe. The owners are from New Orleans and the Cajun/Creole inspired menu never disappoints. My husband is from New Orleans, which is where we were married, so the menu, art, decor, and spirit of The Garden Brunch Cafe brings fond memories.

Quote and/or Scripture you live by::

This is a really difficult question because I have several. Wayne Dyer is one of my favorite people ever and reading his books and listening to his talks continue to evolve me into better versions of myself each day. I keep one quote of his in mind in my daily life:If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” It helps me see the opportunity instead of the problem; the good in a person instead of the negative; the humanity that comes from tragedy; and knowing that we are all one.

 

In Nashville we love to brunch, happy hour or coffee/tea it up. What do you prefer::

I love them all for different reasons! Coffee is great for early morning power meetings. Brunch is usually fun time with close friends and family. And I enjoy Happy Hour with everyone! #cheers

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