Charlotte Names First Digital Inclusion Project Manager

Bruce Clark, digital inclusion manager for Charlotte, with Tom Warshauer, community engagement manager for the City of Charlote, at a March 2015 meeting on digital literacy at the Knight School of Communication at Queens.

Bruce Clark (left), Charlotte’s first digital inclusion project manager, speaks with Tom Warshauer, community engagement manager for the city, at a March 2015 digital literacy conference at the Knight School of Communication at Queens.

Bruce Clark has been hired as the first city-wide Digital Inclusion Project Manager. In this capacity, Clark will join a community-focused Digital Inclusion Steering Team to develop a comprehensive plan for Internet-connectivity for all in the Charlotte area.

In early 2015 the City of Charlotte began convening community stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for bridging the digital divide, and formed a Digital Inclusion Steering Team to lead this effort. The team includes representatives from the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight School of Communication at Queens, the Urban League of Central Carolinas, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, the Media Democracy Fund and Charlotte Hearts Gigabit.

The team is leading a community-based effort to develop and implement practical strategies for universal Broadband access in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The goal is for all neighborhoods in the greater city area to be connected, and for all residents, especially those in underserved communities, to benefit from home Internet access. The digital inclusion steering team is committed to developing solutions that are co-created with the community, and invested in creating pathways for universal access while improving the skills and literacies required by individuals to support themselves and others in an increasingly networked environment. With the goal of universal access and adoption, the Digital Inclusion Steering Team is advocating for and building policies for digital literacy and inclusion that reach, educate, and engage all area residents, connect citizens to services, support our schools, enhance our public libraries, transform neighborhoods and cities, create stronger democracies, and build vibrant local economies.

Clark brings to the role experience in campaign management and grassroots initiatives in digital media, most notably as Executive Director of The PPL, an independent media hub formed during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

This position is funded for two years through a grant from Knight Foundation, reports to the Dean of the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte, and is housed at the Main Library on North Tryon.

Andrew Dunn of The Charlotte Observer interviewed Bruce Clark and published this story on Aug. 22, 2015.

For more information on developing Charlotte’s digital inclusion strategy, visit DigitalCharlotte.org.

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