Saturday, March 07, 2009

Seattle: most wired, but digital divide danger still looms

Seattle made Forbes' list of most wired cities for 2009. Article and list here. Back in 2007, when I was puffily pregnant and still had what I realize in retrospect was a RIDICULOUS amount of free time to sit in tea shops like the one in the picture and read and write, I wrote an article that appeared in the National Urban League's Urban Influence magazine about the digital divide in communities of color. 
A year and a half later, Seattle's Forbes ranking notwithstanding, the digital divide I wrote about still exists for some communities. This article highlights some of the efforts underway to bridge the gap by building and improving information and communication technology infrastructure.

Another local organization, the Technology Access Foundation, is also working to narrow the digital divide by preparing underserved children of color for higher education and professional success through their rigorous and relevant K-12 curriculum, which has a technology focus. It sounds a little wonky but the organization's leaders and staff are amazing, committed and down to earth, the curriculum is top notch and the kids in the program, like the one I mentored who is now a poised, successful college student, make my heart swell every time I see them because they are such shining embodiments of what's possible for every kid if given the right education, support and encouragement. 

Want to help? Their annual leadership breakfast is coming up in a couple weeks. It’s guaranteed to leave you inspired and saying, “These kids are awesome. How can I help?”

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