Connecting America’s Heartland: From Access to Adoption

On August 2nd, 2021, NCC’s Lukas Pietrzak joined advocates from across the country to discuss the ways our work aimed at various aspects of broadband access and adoption can jointly close the digital divide for America’s Heartland. Panelists highlighted initiatives being implemented across Heartland Forward’s member region, an area of 20 states in the middle of the United States. The discussion connected attendees with programs and organizations that create lasting change for America’s unserved and underserved communities. 

Moderated by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s Executive Director Angela Siefer, panelists included:

  • Daniel Anello, CEO, Kids First Chicago/Chicago Connected
  • Angela Thi Bennett, Chief Administrative and Empowerment Officer, DigitalC 
  • Andrea Lindsay, New Markets Director, PCs for People

The 45-minute conversation highlighted work being done in these specific communities and provided a foundation for local leaders around the Heartland and across the country to replicate these programs. 

Pietrzak highlighted NCC’s continued commitment to support community-based broadband programs, helping municipal and community leaders to overcome resource constraints and outreach barriers that could hinder success. Through our work in Washington, D.C. and every member community, we empower local organizations and leaders to take charge of their digital outcomes by being thought partners in improving policies, knowing how to take advantage of funding opportunities, and being prepared to pursue digital divide solutions that suit local needs. 

To learn more about Heartland Forward, this panel, and their work to close the digital divide in America’s Heartland, visit their website. You can view the entire “Connecting the Heartland” workshop here.

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