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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You've got questions.  We've got answers, so we put together a comprehensive list of common questions and answers. Browse the section, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
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HOW DO YOUTH & ORGANIZATIONS JOIN WORLD WIDE YOUTH NETWORKS

BENEFITS INCLUDE:
 
Community Building – Access to other WWYN Affiliates who represent youth focused enrichment activites including youth, families, educator, business professionals, and other digital equity and youth advocates.
Events – Participate in annual conference and other WWYN events
 
Social Media Exposure – Social boosts that include appearances on our podcasts, member spotlight announcements on our website and social media pages.
 
Networking – Network with youth and youth-serving organizations through WWYN events, meetings, discussion boards, and more.
Thought Leadership – Participate in dialogue on focus areas such as youth voice and advocacy, diversity, education and more
 
Community Building- List your company in WWYN's affiliate directory. The directory is a resource for affiliates to share or find the products, resources or services they may need to empower our youth.
Early Access to Research – Be the first to receive information on vital trends and research projects.
Internship Information – Access information about industry internship opportunities
 
Particpate in Esports Tournament – Represent the your organization at conferences particpate in our closed invite-only Esports tournament for the chane to win prizes and a foundation endowment.
MEMBERSHIP DUES ARE TEMPORARILY WAIVED.
 
CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
 
STUDENT MEMBERS
Student membership is available to any individual enrolled as an participant at a WWYN affiliate organization. Student members are entitled to free particpation in our netwroking and conference.  Student that submit a project fro the conference are also eligible to participate in the Just Us Esports League for monetary and nonmonetary prizes.
 
AFFILIATES
Affiliate status is available to indiduals, busnesses, schools, organizations and their staff that are youth serving and promote the digital arts and sciences, equity and inclusion, STEM/STEAM or education Affiliates are entitled to repreentation during our conferences and access to our digital recources.

WHAT IS DIGITAL EQUITY AND HOW CAN IN AFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE?

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Those of us who have been battling the digital divide for decased saw its impact on marginalized communites, but it wasn't until the pandemic that inequites in digital citzenship and the digital economy got some of the national attention it desereverd.  Youth in urban and rural communites, BIPOC and other marginalied groups have long footed the bill for the very same tech industries they have been denied access to.  So didital equity isn't simply about access to technology and the Internet, it's about the equity and representation neeed to provide equal footing within our digital world, its economy and the polices that govern it. ​All around the world, youth need to master 21st Century digital skills  for social, education and vocational opportunites, but they are hampered by a lack of access or outdated education models that require a commitment and an investment in the training and infrastructrue they need ot become the leaders of tomorrow.
The Pew Research Center reports that before quarintine almost 1 in 5 US teens in the were unable to complete homework assignments due to poor internet connectivity.   Organizations like NAMIC, the National Association of Minorities in Communication, have spent decades fighting digital divide and the resulting homework gap it produces.  This lack of access excelerates the sytemic wealth and income gaps ifor marginaized communites, robbing our youth from opportunites to creat generational waelth.  58% of Black adults and 57% of Hispanic
adults have a laptop or desktop computer, compared with 82% of white adults, and 66% of Black adults and 61% of Hispanic adults have broadband access at home compared with 79% of white adults. 
This trend even continues into higher education.  3% of colleges and universities in the US are historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and  20% of all bachelor’s degrees earned by Black students are earned at these histroic instittions. Although there has been a 30 percent rise in the number of students applying to HBCUs, and yet, 80% of our HBCUs are located in broadband deserts.
Internationally the trend continues in Africa and  South America at the sterotypes of their countries being poor and underdeveloped has lead to some of the top games with entire cottage industries built around them like Apex Legends, FIFA, Fortnite, League of Legends, Valorant, and more having servers everywhere except Africa, where there are 1.2 billion people.  If you do the math, 1 in 7 people identify as gamers, that measn in Africa alone there are 142,857,000 people advserlsy affected because of this type of inequity.
The video game industry, Esports and the hundres of anxilary industries associated with them also perpatrate systemic dicrimination and digital inquity even though BIPOC communites are 7 times more likely to identiy as gamers. Even in industries Black characters comprised 10.7% of characters, roughly on parity with the then-most recent census data that 12.3% of Americans are Black, and only 2.7% of characters were Latinx (relative to 12.5% representation in the U.S. population). But Dmitri Williams, a professor at the University of Southern California and the lead author of that study, says that Black representation is even lower if you only look at primary characters and that in any case “athletes in sports games account for most of the Black characters in those games.”  Couple that with the fact that only 6.7% of developers are Black the disparities are evident.  Where do we focus our efforts first on representation of equity?  Where do we change the paradigm within education regarding Esports and tech industries?

WHAT IS ESPORTS AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR DIGITAL EQUITY AND INCLUSION

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 Esports, or competative video gaming, has a rich history that dates back to 1972 at Stanford University.  Today, Esports is a multibillion dollar industry, with anxilary roots in everything from journalism and medicine to education an advocacy.   As an avenue for digital equity. Esports allows us to create platforms of empowerment using video games as a medium, because of the video game industry’s reach, market share and familiarity amongst today’s youth.  But steering students away from simple being consumers to producers, advocates and peer-influencers, WWYN can use Esports as a tool to positively develop the future leaders of our digital society and future titans within the digital arts and sciences. WWYN aims use Esports to create the largest educational and social justice network in the world.  We envision a virtual landscape where diversity and equity are commonplace and ethical discourse leads to innovation and empowerment.
Esports is multibillion dollar industry in the US alone, with some worldwide estimates placing it in close to a $5 billion industry.  The misconception about Esports is that it is based solely on gaming and gameplay. The truth is Esports is a multifaceted industry with opportunities as diverse as art and broadcasting to coding and medicine.  And although entry into this industry is still dominated by a newly minted old boy’s network, the barrier to entry and education within Esports is one of the lowest in history with the largest return on investment.  Like coding forty years earlier, Esports in a “gold rush” faze, with many opportunities open for those willing to pioneer this new era.  This is why WWYN is leading the charge for scholastic and social justice Esports.
Esports is a $2.8 million industry that mirrors the rise of coding three decades earlier, with more affluent, majority white schools being early adopters in scholastic Esports programs, while Title I schools (schools where the majority of students are eligible for free lunch) face opposition beyond financial limitations from administrators that don’t understand the opportunities within the attention economy.  Many of these administrators also falsely believe that students use of video games after school or the gamification of education is relevant despite studies to the contrary.  How to we combat this on a local, state or federal level?
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