The Michelson 20MM Foundation is helping tackle California’s digital divide through new grants to leading policy, research, and technology nonprofit organizations.
The Public Policy Institute of California, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, UNITE-LA, EveryoneOn, and MoHuman are the 2021 recipients of Michelson 20MM Spark Grants in Digital Equity.
“Through the combination of scalable solutions, research, and education, five coordinated and complimentary projects truly address every dimension of the digital divide. We are proud to partner with these groups to increase digital equity throughout the state of California,” said Phillip Kim, CEO of Michelson 20MM Foundation.
The projects awarded the $25,000 Spark Grants were recognized for their multidimensional approaches designed to address the complex challenges of digital inequity:
EveryoneOn is designing a digital inclusion training program for K-12 institutions, nonprofit organizations, and public housing providers.
mohuman is launching a San Diego pilot program to connect 3,000 low-income residents, an effort they intend to scale across twenty-two Promise Zones.
Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is examining how digital equity gaps have evolved since Spring 2020, which will culminate in a report designed to equip changemakers with more accurate data and actionable solutions.
The LA-Digital Equity Action League (LA-DEAL), led by UNITE-LA in partnership with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, is a community-driven, cross-sector consortium that will address digital equity challenges by sector and region.
USC Annenberg will map connectivity down to the residential block via their Connected Communities and Inclusive Growth (CCIG) project. CCIG is expanding the platform to cover the entire state of California including digital literacy and broadband speed indicators.
“Access to the internet is essential for pursuing an education, finding a job, accessing healthcare, and participating in our democracy. COVID-19 highlighted the severity of the digital divide, particularly among underserved communities. We need to find solutions to this crisis that has been decades in the making,” added Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder and co-chair of the Michelson 20MM Foundation.