Date of Graduation

Summer 8-13-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Monica De La Cruz


Digital equity has evolved into a more critical area of focus due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the existing digital divide, or the divide that exists between those who have access to the internet and those that do not, by moving many important services and resources online to reduce the spread of the virus. This shift has created more challenges for communities who either lack or have inadequate access to the internet. Furthermore, it is likely that internet utilization will only increase as we continue to recognize its capabilities. A lack of or inadequate access to the internet has implications for access to social justice issues, including environmental justice. This paper explores current literature, policy, and discourse related to digital equity in the United States, making the case that it is an environmental justice issue and advocating for comprehensive access to household broadband internet. To achieve digital equity in the context of promoting environmental justice, it is important to critically review policy related to digital equity, advocate for policies that improve digital equity, establish digital equity as a social determinant of health, and ensure communities are able to access the internet, afford the internet, and have the digital literacy skills necessary to navigate it safely and effectively. Establishing digital equity as an environmental justice issue allows the potential of the internet to be realized as a platform in which information exchange and communication can occur to advance environmental justice.