Digital Inclusion Week (“DIW”) is a designated time for government officials, public service entities, nonprofits, and others to unite their efforts around closing the digital divide. Using events, media, and public awareness campaigns, participants elevate the need for all individuals and communities – including the most disadvantaged – to have reliable and affordable access to information and communication technologies.
In the City of Detroit, Digital Inclusion Week is an annual celebration that highlights digital equity initiatives and partnerships that are increasing access to high-speed technology and digital preparedness. In 2020, the City launched Connect 313, a community-based coalition designed to coordinate and support city-wide, data-driven digital inclusion efforts. During this year’s DIW, October 4th through 7th, city officials collaborated with Connect 313 partners on a variety of digital equity programs.
The first event was on October 4th. Next Century Cities’ Executive Director Francella Ochillo joined Detroit’s Director of Digital Inclusion Joshua Edmonds for a fireside chat to discuss policy and funding developments in the national broadband landscape. Ochillo identified the many ways in which local officials are and can take ownership of connectivity gaps. She also emphasized the need for local officials to be included in broadband policy decision-making and urged community leaders to acknowledge the collective cost associated with disconnectedness. Access the fireside chat here.
To learn about the role model digital inclusion efforts underway in the City of Detroit, view the 30-minute Emmy award-winning documentary, Detroit Is Limitless, one of the Digital Inclusion Week conference highlights.