Special for The Dallas Examiner
On March 8, the Dallas City Council approved an agreement with the Dallas Innovation Alliance to serve as a sub-recipient of American Rescue Plan Act funds to administer the Digital Navigators program.
The program’s purpose is to address the four pillars of digital equity across the city of Dallas through accessibility, access, devices, and digital skills. The program will engage targeted communities to better understand and alleviate their needs to connect to the Internet, use computers and laptops, and acquire training to support digital skills, as well as increased awareness and use of Dallas Public Library resources.
The program will increase public awareness of the importance of digital equity and encourage digital inclusion efforts across our city to improve broadband access, drive adoption and foster digital skills that will mitigate the negative effects of inequality information on education gaps, job and housing losses, food insecurity and health crises in affected communities.
The City of Dallas and the Dallas Innovation Alliance are committed to bridging the digital divide through cross-industry engagement and collaboration to meet the diverse needs of the public and private sectors to connect. That includes help enrolling in the Accessible Connectivity program, technical support and community engagement, and more.
“Getting all Dallas residents fully engaged in the opportunities presented by today’s digital world is complex and requires each of us to play a role in terms of infrastructure, access, skills and engagement on the ground,” said Jennifer Sanders , co-founder and executive director, Dallas Innovation Alliance. “The City of Dallas’ leadership and vision to meet this challenge head-on is commendable, and DIA is so grateful to be a partner in connecting and empowering our Dallas neighbors.”
On March 25, the Get Connected Dallas community festival will be held at South Oak Cliff High School to celebrate and educate all the ways technology and digital access enhance our lives and will include local artists, digital resource fair, ACP membership, on-site job fair, STEM village, and food truck vendors in South Dallas.
The launch of the program will advance the recommendations identified in the city’s strategic plan for broadband and digital equity. The plan identifies specific ways the city can bridge the digital divide through infrastructure investments, public-private partnerships and programming.
To read the full document and learn more about what the city is doing to bridge the digital divide, visit bit.ly/dallasdigitaldivide.