Ms. Dana Schurmans, ACP YPN Digital Inclusion expert took part in the first “Women in Tech Africa” week in Brussels. Dana spoke on the panel “Today me, tomorrow a woman with impact” and responded to the question, ‘What is the role of diaspora women issued from the ACP community in the advent of new technologies?’. Based on Dana’s research on digital inequalities and disadvantaged social groups, her intervention highlighted the importance of shared responsibility with regards to world-wide technological transformations, including for black diaspora women living in Europe.
Dana explained that as a Belgo-Haitian citizen, woman and mother, she trusts that our digital future is bright, humanistic and inclusive. Her belief in empowerment through new technologies has been the driving force of her personal and professional path. She traced this back to the moment when, somewhat naively, she rushed into studying communication sciences at the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to become an investigative journalist covering ‘North-South’ issues. She explains that she felt it was her obligation to emphasize the need for critical reflections regarding the digitalisation of the world, and understand the underlying causes and consequences of digital inequalities between and within countries.
Dana believes in the potential of technologies as a tool for connecting people, exchanging ideas and inclusion. She strongly defended the thesis that if as society, we aim to achieve a truly inclusive digital society, we need to integrate the vision of social groups who are not traditionally included. Dana’s main message was that she strongly advocates for digital inclusion FOR disadvantages communities, and BY disadvantaged communities.
Ms. Dana Schurmans is researcher at the University Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve. She is also pursuing a joint doctoral thesis between UCL and VUB in communication science entitled ‘New narrative for digital inequalities from the perspective of disadvantaged youth communities’. Dana is Digital inclusion expert for ACP YPN.
Contact her by mail Dana.schurmansATgmail.com or follow her on TWITTER: @DanaSchurmans