Minneapolis Unwired: Digital inclusion grants

I shot off the last post late last night when I was too tired to deal with more than a quick announce-and-link. I’m a member of the Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee and I have been wondering when our awards would be announced as we finalized in December. Without warning I stumbled on a GovTech announcement. I couldn’t find any local mention. Today I discovered that the City of Minneapolis did post to the Web.

But first I want to congratulate the nonprofit groups who will receive awards. All the proposals were excellent and it was very difficult for me and my fellow digital inclusion advisors to decide who should get funded in this round. One thing that helped us is that another $300,000 will be in our fund once the network is completed and the City has signed off. And after that, if everything goes as planned, there will be more funds coming from US Internet to continue to sustain our fund.

Without further ado, here’s the list of NPOs and brief descriptions of the projects. As always, your comments are important!

  • Minneapolis Public Library – $18,588 for the expansion of the basic technology training classes for Somali and Spanish language speakers and for people with disabilities.
  • Phyllis Wheatley Community Center – $8,775 for its Bridging the Digital Divide project designed to bring diverse neighborhood youth together using wireless technology; also for the purchase of equipment, program materials, and accountability and evaluation services.
  • Plymouth Christian Youth Center – $22,500 for increased technology access and literacy among youth and families in north Minneapolis by providing computer access and education for community youth enrolled in the school’s alternative and after-school programs; also to offer access and education on Saturdays for families from the community.
  • Project for Pride in Living – $25,000 for its new Learning Center Access Lab, which offers and array of resources and programs that help bridge the digital divide for low-income residents by providing computer skills and access.
  • St. Paul Neighborhood Network – $20,000 for program operations and member support which targets technology access and literacy needs of recent immigrant, people with disabilities, and low-income residents of Minneapolis.
  • The Bridge for Runaway Youth – $25,775 for a program that ensures digital inclusion for homeless youth.
  • The Church of St. Philip (Patchwork Quilt) – $30,000 for its Patchwork Digital Divide initiative to continue providing computer hardware, software, and access to the Wireless Minneapolis network for low-income families with children and people with disabilities.
  • TVbyGirls – $22,262 for a series of visual and media literacy workshops designed to work with girls in specific cultural communities.
  • Twin Cities Media Alliance – $27,100 for recruitment and training of Minneapolis residents and neighborhood organizations to create local, relevant, and useful information for distribution through neighborhood portals, community partners and Twin Cities Daily Planet.

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