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Comments on Fellowship Program Application Process Review

  • To: comments-fellowship-application-process-review-14jun16@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments on Fellowship Program Application Process Review
  • From: Judith Hellerstein <judith@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 18:54:58 -0400


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    My name is Judith Hellerstein and I am a Secretary of NARALO within
    the At Large Community.  I have been advocating for this change for
    several years.  Thank you for the opportunity to comment on proposed
    revisions in criteria for the ICANN fellowship.  I very much support
    broadening eligibility to deserving candidates in all regions. There
    are many under-served communities in supposedly more affluent
    regions. The fellowship has shown great success in bringing and
    engaging new people into At Large and all of the RALOs except for
    NARALO have benefited from alumnae of the Fellows program. These
    Fellows have come with so many great ideas and have grown into
    leadership positions in many of the RALOs.  In NARALO, I am in awe
    of this and also very disappointed that the fellowship program is
    closed to similar people in North America.  In the US there is great
    disparity of income and thousands of people are under the poverty
    line. In fact, in some areas of the US, some houses do not even have
    electricity, let alone Internet Access, but yet these same people
    are dined access to the Fellowship program simply because they live
    in North America. That is wrong. They are just as much
    representatives of exactly the groups ICANN is looking at engaging. 
    Many of them are urban poor who are living paycheck to paycheck
    trying to put food on the table, are graduate students, or even
    recent graduates working a and others who have more. Recent
    statistics show that only 25% of families making 30,000 or more have
    access to Internet Access and even less to Broadband access.  These
    demographics and others making 50 or 75,000 a year are groups that
    ICANN have been targeting, but because they live in the US, they
    have not been eligible for the Fellowship. This needs to change and
    the new criteria for Fellowship does this.  It gives priority to
    applicants from under-served and under-represented communities who
    express financial need without regard to location as long as they
    are part of an under-served community. Additionally, the emphasis on
    diversity (in terms of gender, sector, region, and experience), has
    become more pronounced in the program description and selection
    In the Native American regions in the US many of the people live in
    Poverty. Since they are a separate nation they do not have the same
    school systems as others.  In many of the tribal areas it is fairly
    common for schools not to have any Internet access at all. Even for
    tribal meetings there is no Internet access and this could continue
    for days until the slow access that people do have is restored. Many
    students who apply to colleges and try to get scholarships are not
    able to submit applications in a timely manner since every thing is
    online and often they do not have Internet access and there is
    nowhere to get Internet services and so many people can not apply or
    apply late and then can not obtain the scholarship because of this.
    In many towns, there maybe the local tribal college library but that
    is it and the library often did not have access.  It is these end
    users who we in At Large are advocating for but yet none of them is
    able to engage or even learn about ICANN because they have ht
    misfortune of living in the US and are thus not eligible for the
    fellowship while others who have more access to Internet are able to
    apply simply because they live in a developing country.  This needs
    to be changed and am glad to see the Fellowship program is changing
    their criteria so that these historically under-served populations
    can now apply.<br>
    I agree with the idea to use other metrics to categorize who is from
    an under-served and underrepresented communities based on social,
    economic and environmental factors that hinder an individual’s
    ability to develop to its full capacity and benefit from services
    that they would have otherwise had access to. e.g. poverty, race,
    ethnicity, age, gender, physical disabilities, and factors such as
    income, hygiene, and absence of a usual source of care or service
    such as basic education, health services, and public transportation<br>
    On the section entitled: <br>
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    "Each FC member reviews the applications against the questions set
    out in the application form, which relate to the posted applicant
    criteria"  I think the wording chosen<br>
    <blockquote>Has this country where the applicant resides ever been
      represented at ICANN meetings before; is it considered
      under-served and/or under represented within ICANN?  <br>
    Is poor.  It should focus less on whether a country in
    under-represented in ICANN and ore on is this particular
    stakeholder, under-served individual or community represented.  That
    is more correct. Since US is very well represented in certain areas
    but not in others.  Indigenous people, people who live in remote
    rural areas, people living in low income areas of the country,
    people living below the poverty line ar just above it are
    under-served and under represented in ICANN and also in the
    individuals/government organizations/private sector, etc  within
    North America. <br>
    Thank you again for allowing others to submit their comments on this
    important community program. I am grateful to ICANN for this
    opportunity to share my views and hope you will find my suggestions 
    helpful. Thank you for including my views in the comments<br>
    Judith Hellerstein<br>
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    <pre class="moz-signature" cols="80">-- 
Judith Hellerstein, Founder &amp; CEO
Hellerstein &amp; Associates
3001 Veazey Terrace NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: (202) 362-5139  Skype ID: judithhellerstein
E-mail: <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" 
href="mailto:Judith@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx";>Judith@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</a>   Website: <a 
Linked In: <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" 
Opening Telecom &amp; Technology Opportunities Worldwide


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