Jill Bjers

Executive Director
Code for Charlotte

1. What are you doing towards Digital Inclusion in Charlotte? (Organization, Projects, Workshops, Meetups, etc)?: 

Our mission is to bridge the gap between residents and their government and community resources. We use technology, education and advocacy to create open, user-friendly and accessible resources. We believe in building with our community and not for it, to that end, we hold a public meet up every Tuesday night to work towards our missions. Additionally, we hold community events and town halls throughout the year.

In addition to our technology work, we also run a bi-yearly Laptop Drive to refurbish donated laptops and re-home them to residents that need them. We are fortunate to have multiple community partners for this project.

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

Code for Charlotte is doing great work that I’m really proud of; however, it is important to make sure that we are not only working with our vulnerable communities to provide useable services but making sure they have the technology to access those services. We cannot live up to our principle of “building with and not for” and ignore digital equity issues.

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

For me, a digitally connected community is two fold. Not only does everyone have access to technology but also to resources and services that are designed for them and user-friendly. It is important to simultaneously create access and usability, especially for our most vulnerable communities.