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.
One Million Connected Devices Now reflects the need and its importance in the near-term delivery of academic instruction.
One 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 One 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, PolicyLink, Walmart, Comcast and others join P&G and the Coalition in the One Million Connected Devices Now movement.
As part of the total corporate support effort, PlanITROI will be working with Take On Race Coalition partners in programs that will provide low-cost refurbished recertified devices via their Digital Dreams Project initiative.
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 One 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 One 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.
How you can help
Your company can support the One Million Connected Devices Now initiative through the following: