A new year for digital inclusion is beginning for a national nonprofit technology leadership organization. Two new fellows—Caché Owens and Margo Scurry–are taking steps towards social justice in Charlotte.
The Nonprofit Technology Network pairs up with community-based organizations to find and train leaders in communities that are digitally divided. The fellows that are recruited for the program identify the local digital literacy needs and create programs, classes, and events to help improve those skills. NTEN partnered with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library as host organizations for the 2016 Charlotte Digital Inclusion Fellows.
Caché Owens was brought on to NTEN’s Fellows team in support of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership.
“We are working primarily where we have affordable housing that the housing partnership has built over the years,” Owens says. “I am responsible for creating a new digital inclusion program that connects people to digital literacy training, gives them information about access to affordable broadband, tries to assist them in acquires affordable devices, to try to take that three-pronged approach to get digital inclusion efforts off the ground in the neighborhoods that we work.”
She is working with the Housing Partnership to find a unique role in Charlotte’s digital inclusion world. Owens is collaborating with Carolina Health to build a program that “highlights the intersections of health and digital inclusion and how you can use technology and the Internet for a healthy lifestyle.”
Margo Scurry was also chosen to be one of Charlotte’s new Fellows in 2016. Scurry is working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg library to improve digital literacy and help work towards closing the digital divide.
“One of the things I am most passionate about is helping people to be able to understand technology so that they can see how it could improve their lives socially and economically,” Scurry says. She loves to work with seniors because “when they want to learn, they bring so much enthusiasm and you’re just opening up a whole new world for them.”
Margo manages three digital literacy programs that offer training to help build skills. These programs are “DigiLit 101,” “DigiLit Lite,” and DigiLit Community.”
Both fellows are excited for the remainder of the year and hope to contribute to Charlotte’s digital progress and work towards social justice.
Photo above, from left: Ruben Campillo and Jessica Washington, Charlotte NTEN 2015 Fellows, listen to 2016 Fellow Margo Scurry at a Digital Charlotte event in September 2016.