2008 Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Awards

I sit on the Digital Inclusion Advisory Committee and we finished another award cycle last year that I never blogged about. (Here’s a search link where you can read more about the Committee and my involvement.) I’m doing a presentation on digital inclusion this week at the U for a journalism class so I thought I should at least get this information online here. (In my defense, I did Twitter the awards back in December.)

We have away $200,000 for the second year. We have $100,000 left. According to the US Internet Wireless (USIW) contract, USIW will continue funding with a minimum of 5% of net pretax income. When the Digital Inclusion fund will see this money is not clear. There are other benefits too including free accounts for nonprofits. The City convened a work group last summer to look at some of these and how to proceed. I sat at the table with that group too and we finished meetings in the summer. We are still waiting for the applications for free accounts. Hopefully this will move forward soon.

Without further ado, here are the 2008 awards:

  • Casa de Esperanza – $20,000 for Centro de Información y Recursos, which offers free internet and technology access at a location in the Mercado Central on Lake Street.
  • CommonBond Communities – $30,000 for technology access and literacy efforts at Seward Towers East and West.
  • Employment Action Center – $30,000 for software and equipment for the Community Technology Center to assist new Americans in a web-based English language learning program.
  • Library Foundation of Hennepin County – $24,676 for technology training in Hmong, Somali and Spanish at four Minneapolis libraries.
  • Minnesota Computers for Schools – $8,000 for distribution of refurbished laptop computers to students in a low-income area of Minneapolis, with tech support from student “tech teams” that have been trained in computer maintenance and operation.
  • PACER Center – $30,000 for technology access and literacy training for low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants/refugees.
  • Patchwork Quilt – $30,000 for incorporation of computer literacy into all programs as well as computer software skills training for residents of North Minneapolis.
  • St. Paul Neighborhood Network – $20,000 for digital literacy training and workforce readiness preparation at nine Minneapolis agencies.

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