Community Salute: Continuing to shrink the digital divide

Published 6:13 pm Friday, October 28, 2022

The grant from AT&T that was handed over to Austin Aspires earlier this week is just another notch in a trend to further shrink the digital divide.

The grant is for $15,000, but seems much bigger than that based solely on the important role technology plays in our day-to-day lives.

While very few of us ever leave the home anymore without our cellphones, many are lacking not just larger hardware in their homes, but more often than we care to admit the computer literacy to properly use it.

AT&T, through their $2 billion nationwide commitment, recognizes this. The money, spread out among several organizations  across the United States, is part of a larger effort stretched between 2021-2023.

But while it can hand out the money, it’s up to local partners like Austin Aspires to take the important step of organizing how the money is used.

Even then, it relies on its own partnerships.

“Our primary work is collective impact,” said Austin Aspires Executive Director Jayne Gibson on Tuesday. “We rally partners to the table to have that discussion.”

That’s the key. Rallying. Because of how important technology is these days in applying for jobs and getting homework done, the need has become that much more obvious.

By helping get people the necessary hardware, the literacy to use the hardware and the connectivity, groups like Austin Aspires and corporations like AT&T are playing a strong part in bringing the resources and necessary groups together to rally for a more connected future.