Published February 10, 2021 by Take on Race

One Million Connected Devices Now!

The Problem

As school districts across the country continue to determine how they will deliver education services during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual instruction is the leading choice. With this reality, students who lack access to an appropriate computing device and reliable wi-fi connectivity simply do not have access to education.

The internet is now a fundamental part of the U.S. economy and culture, yet internet access is not ubiquitous. Nearly 5 million children under age 18 live in neighborhoods where 25 Mbps broadband is unavailable. The largest gaps are 2.8 million youth in rural America and 1 million youth in suburban America. Data reveals that today’s youngest students are most vulnerable to falling behind and Black and Brown children disproportionately lack sufficient resources and are rapidly falling behind on expected learning outcomes.

1 Million Connected Devices Now reflects the need and its importance in the near-term delivery of academic instruction.

Our Solution

1 Million Connected Devices Now is an urgent response from the Take on Race Coalition to put one million devices with reliable internet connectivity and tech support in the hands of students of color for the 2020/2021 academic year, in an effort to close the digital divide worsened by COVID-19.

Take on Race has raised $25 million for 1 Million Connected Devices Now and partnered with leading corporations and community organizations to put 1 million connected devices in the hands of students in underserved communities.

Dell Technologies, Intel, Dow Jones, Fidelity, Microsoft Corporation, PNC Bank, PolicyLink, Walmart, Comcast and others join P&G and the Coalition in the 1 Million Connected Devices Now movement.

Providing Access to Students

To scale, distribute and drive enduring impact in communities across America, the Coalition has formed strategic partnerships with community organizations experienced in connecting students, families and communities. Community partners include Harlem Children's Zone, StriveTogether, and INROADS.

Harlem Children’s Zone – a New York-based nonprofit which reaches more than 22,500 children and families will scale and execute the 1 Million Connected Devices Now effort to better serve students nationwide. Harlem Children’s Zone is leading a city-by-city community coordination in seven Phase One markets: New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Newark and Oakland. The organization will activate its national network of community partners to meet a pre-identified need and drive scale.

The Coalition’s partnership with StriveTogether – an organization dedicated to dismantling the cycle of inequitable outcomes for youth – will expand the reach of 1 Million Connected Devices Now to 70 markets in Phase Two.

INROADS – an organization focused on career development for minority youth – will provide additional support with distributing devices.

Joining as a fiduciary partner for the effort is PolicyLink, a national non-profit organization founded to advance racial equity in the U.S.

The Coalition is collaborating with the Digital Dreams Project to specifically address digital inequity by activating coalition members’ employees and communities to donate their idle, functioning devices to be repurposed—or turned into cash—to support students in need. The collection process will be performed virtually through a donation portal or at a physical collection event hosted at a safe location for individuals to participate in contactless drop-off.

In addition, PlanITROI will be providing low-cost refurbished recertified devices, with extensive support, to the One Million Connected Devices Now initiative.

How you can help

Your company can support the One Million Connected Devices Now initiative through the following:

  • Make a cash donation to the Take on Race – One Million Connected Devices Now Fund
  • Donate physical devices, computers and/or hotspots, for distribution
  • Donate wi-fi or broadband access for use by the one million students who will benefit from this initiative
  • Connect the Take on Race team to principal players at companies across the connected device industry
  • Amplify the One Million Connected Devices Now movement via social media

To learn more or to get involved, please fill out the form and we will connect with you to discuss your commitment further!

Get Involved Now!
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