The national digital inclusion organization will share findings on how cities and community groups are working to close the ‘digital divide.’

Press Release


Nov 2, 2022 08:00 EDT

Digitunity, a national nonprofit organization that advances digital equity through device ownership, and network science agency Visible Network Labs (VNL) are hosting a series of webinars to present findings from a survey on how 10 U.S. cities are working to close the digital divide.

The digital divide is the disparity between those who have ready access to computers and the internet, and those who do not. Studies show that this deep, persistent inequity keeps under-resourced people from achieving economic and educational success.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it highlighted a longstanding issue in our country, which is that millions of people in America are still unable to benefit from the opportunities that the internet provides,” said Scot Henley, Executive Director of Digitunity. “The survey findings explore the relationships across sectors in each city and create opportunities for new or improved partnerships to embrace the power of collective action to achieve digital equity.”  

Conducted during the summer of 2022, participants of the survey included nonprofits, government offices, businesses, and other organizations in each of the cities that: 

  • Are currently involved in or leading their city’s digital equity efforts.
  • Would like to be involved in digital equity efforts.
  • Have resources to provide to advance digital equity.
  • Have opinions about or a stake in digital equity in their city.

 Details about each upcoming webinar, including registration links, can be found below:

  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 3-4 p.m. EDT
  • Friday, Nov. 4, 12-1 p.m. EDT
  •  Thursday, Nov. 10, 2-3 p.m. EST
  •  Thursday, Nov. 10, 3-4 p.m. EST

A critical step towards advancing digital equity is ensuring everyone has access to a large-screen device, such as a desktop, laptop, or tablet. The survey led to the creation of network maps for each city along with geographic information system (GIS) maps. Through this visualization tool, stakeholders and community groups have a better understanding of who is involved and connected.

“Working with a network of partners is essential to building a collaborative advantage,” said Dr. Amanda Beacom, Vice President of Research & Data Science, VNL, “Most organizations build networks using a ‘more is better’ mentality that saps their time and resources. The community partner relationship manager is designed to track, map, and adapt networks in real-time using network science data and insights.”

Having a connected computer and the skills to use it productively is a fundamental need. The issue of the digital divide disproportionately affects communities of color but persists across all boundaries. Digitunity remains committed to eliminating the technology gap, so everyone can thrive in a digitally connected society. To learn more, please visit www.digitunity.org

About Digitunity

Since the 1980s, Digitunity has advanced digital inclusion by connecting donors of technology with organizations serving people in need. Our mission is to ensure everyone who needs a computer has one, along with robust internet connectivity and digital literacy skills. To learn more about our mission, please visit www.digitunity.org

About Visible Network Labs (VNL)

Visible Network Labs is a team of network scientists, developers, data analysts, evaluators, and technologists working together with a shared mission of building society’s capacity to transform and strengthen social connectedness at all levels of life. VNL focuses on creating new tools, training, and services to make network science and analysis accessible to those who need it.

They worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to evaluate their Networks for School Improvement portfolio and guide their strategy moving forward. They also worked with LA County to strengthen the LA Mamas collaborative health partnership for low-income mothers in the Los Angeles metro area. To learn more, please visit https://visiblenetworklabs.com

Source: Digitunity

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