On September 22nd, celebrate OneWebDay, a day inspired by Earth Day and intended to help shrink the digital divide. OneWebDay is both a celebration of our digital lives and an attempt to make those lives available to all. “The Web is a vital shared resource, but most people are not empowered to take part in defining the direction of this now indispensable resource,” according to the event’s website. “Some take it for granted, some cannot breach the barriers to access, and some relinquish control to authoritative institutions that are all too happy to fill the void of public leadership,” according to the site. OneWebDay was founded in 2006 by Susan Crawford, professor of law at the University of Michigan and President Barack Obama's Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy.

This year, the event, created to, in Crawford’s words, “celebrate the health and diversity of the Internet and our interactions online,” will be held in nearly 50 cities in 20 countries. As well, internet-related volunteer events will be held in conjunction with OneWebDay in 11 countries and many US cities.

“For the last three years, OneWebDay has attracted a global network of partner organizations and individual activists committed to broadening the public’s awareness of Internet and Web issues while deepening a culture of participation in building a Web that works for everyone,” according to the event’s site.

OneWebDay advocates the end of the digital divide as the web increasingly becomes a fundamental human tool.

“Peoples’ lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the basics like roads, energy supplies and running water,” Crawford says. “We can no longer take that for granted, and we must advocate for the Internet politically and support its vitality personally.”

By Mark Alvarez