Partnership for Internet Equity and Community Engagement
A joint project of the East Palo Alto Community Network and the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University



The Partnership for Internet Equity and Community Engagement (PIECE) brings together

  • community network specialists from the Plugged In community technology center and other organizations in East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park (collectively known as "greater East Palo Alto"), California, 
The goals of the partnership are
  • to enhance the effectiveness of the East Palo Alto Community Network for promoting community involvement and for addressing the collective and individual needs of greater East Palo Alto residents;
  • to ensure a robust user base for the community network's web portal and the Technology Access Points;
  • to close gaps in Internet access, technology control/ownership, and computer usage ("digital divides") that exist between and within different populations in greater East Palo Alto;
  • to facilitate uses of the Internet that empower disadvantaged residents to gain more of a voice in community decision making; 
  • to learn through the experience of reaching for these goals, sharing what we learn with the greater East Palo Alto community, with other communities, and with academic researchers.

The work of PIECE began in January, 2002,  funded by a Public Scholarship Initiative grant to the Symbolic Systems Program from the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.  The grant is administered through the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford.  The East Palo Alto Community Network launched in September, 2002, funded by the HP Digital Village Program and the NTIA Technology Opportunities Program, with software donated by Microsoft.  Together with the work of many residents and organizations involved in the East Palo Alto Digital Village and One East Palo Alto initatives,  the City of East Palo Alto and the City of Palo Alto, we view this partnership as one piece of a broad based community development and social/environmental justice effort in East Palo Alto.