Cache Owens

Cache Owens

Community Engagement Specialist

Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership

1. What are you doing towards Digital Inclusion in Charlotte?

As a digital inclusion fellow I am working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to create a sustainable digital inclusion program that takes a holistic approach to bridge the digital divide. We are working with residents and property managers to connect our communities with existing digital resources, digital literacy training, affordable devices, and broadband options. This work is only possible through collaboration with our valued partners.

2. Why are you working towards Digital Inclusion in Charlotte?

Digital inclusion is vital if Charlotte is to truly be a city of equity and access. Closing the digital divide is beneficial to all because when everyone can get online, curious minds are connected to the resources they need to become innovators. Imagine if Mark Zuckerburg had never had access to a computer or the Internet! Digitally divided communities tend to also be geographically isolated. While it can take years to get a community access to light rail or a grocery store, closing the digital divide is something we can do right now, today, to make an impact on people’s every day lives.

3. What does a digitally connected community look like to you?

Digital access reinforces community social ties, economic mobility and increases overall quality of life. In a community where we bridge the digital divide, all residents have access and the basic skills to navigate the necessities of daily life online. Additionally, a digitally connected community is a community where residents are transformed from consumers to producers of digital content. With digital resources communities can regain power over their own narratives.