Through the month of March, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Digital Inclusion Steering Team will host a community forum of leaders and organizations to examine new ways to incorporate digital equity into existing programs of Community Building and Social Change and Striving for Digital Equity in Affordable Housing.
The community forums are free and open to the public. The community forums are scheduled for March 15 – Community Building and Social Change (8-10AM; The Third Place – 1609 E. 5th St Charlotte, NC 28204) and March 22 – Striving for Digital Equity in Affordable Housing (8-10AM; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center Conference Room 280 – 600 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202)
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Digital Inclusion Steering Team is excited to host this set of Community Forums as we work to increase digital equity throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
“Community Building and Social Change”
From an article in eSchool News titled, “7 reasons digital equity is a social justice issue,” one of the reasons for digital equity comes from Dr. Michael Mills, an education professor,
“If we don’t provide students devices, broadband access, but more importantly, a chance for rich opportunities for challenging work and high-level expectations, we create the Matthew Effect—the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”
In our Community Forum about Community Building and Social Change, the focus will be on how to build digital equity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in order for communities to grow and individuals to build their skills.
“Striving for Digital Equity in Affordable Housing”
For residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg living at or near the poverty line, cost is a major barrier to getting Internet access at home. Internet service providers such as Comcast and Google Fiber have created programs to provide low-to-no-cost to residents in public housing in cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Austin, and Charlotte. Opportunities such as these will greatly increase availability of low-cost internet services and for residents to take advantage of digital inclusion training and resources.
In our Striving for Digital Equity in Affordable Housing Community Forum, the discussions will be centered on how to optimize internet access to those living in affordable housing to build digital equity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
These three key questions will be discussed:
- How do existing areas of focus affect the Charlotte community and the organizations that serve them?
- What successful programs are currently operating and serving the digital inclusion needs of Charlotte in these areas?
- What opportunity is there for scaled, new, or enhanced digital inclusion programming in the community?
The expected audience for the event is organizations and public services that focus on community building and affordable hosuing, including community-based providers, nonprofit organizations, and workforce-focused businesses. Individuals and organizations interested in participating in the event should register on this form: