CELEBRATING 14 YEARS OF DIGITAL EQUITY!
When CTN officially gained its nonprofit status in 2008, only 55% of Americans had access to in-home broadband internet. Twitter was just getting off the ground, and Apple had just created its App Store. Life online looked vastly different than it does today. And though technology will continue to change, our mission remains consistent: to transform lives through digital literacy.
Throughout the past 14 years, CTN has evolved and adapted alongside the internet — serving new populations, reimagining programming, and expanding our services to work with new partners. Of course, none of our strides and successes would be possible without a network of dedicated individuals offering their support and insight along the way. What began as one volunteer program manager has become a growing organization of 34 staff members and contractors. Countless individuals and board members have donated their time and money to our mission over the years. And with the introduction of remote volunteering through our virtual training, we now have active volunteers in 17 different states! We say it often, but never enough: our community is filled with some incredible humans, and we are continuously grateful for your support!
As we reflect on this long journey we’ve been on together, we also look forward to what’s to come. Now more than ever, technology has the capacity to empower individuals and promote equitable access to opportunities. From job searching to telemedicine, there are dozens of ways the internet improves everyday life — we even compiled a list of the top 14! Despite technology’s benefits, millions of Americans still lack broadband access or digital skills.
CTN is committed to promoting equitable access and use of technology through strategic programs, customized curricula, and partnerships with long-established social service agencies. In commemoration of our 14 years, we are asking members of our community to invest $14 in digital equity. With your help, we can continue to work towards a more digitally inclusive world for everyone — regardless of age, income level, or primary language. Donate today!
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
DIGITAL EQUITY SPOTLIGHT: TOBEY DICHTER
Long before terms like digital equity or digital inclusion were coined, digital equity champion Tobey Ditcher felt driven by the inherent injustice of keeping people from resources that others have access to. In 1999, she founded Generations on Line to create a more inclusive digital world for older adults. Follow along with Tobey’s impressive journey as a pioneer in digital literacy.
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: SUNNYVALE
“There is a common misconception that since Sunnyvale is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, we don’t have residents in need,” says Angela Chan, youth and family resources manager for the City of Sunnyvale. “What we’ve found is that we have pockets of residents with high needs throughout the city, but sometimes it’s hard to reach them.” Read more about CTN’s recent digital literacy classes for Mandarin-speaking seniors in Sunnyvale!
FUNDER SPOTLIGHT: TWITTER FOR GOOD
In many ways, Twitter acts as a watering hole for the digital age; it is a space for sharing information, connecting with your community, and staying up to date. Yet, unlike physical gathering spaces, Twitter requires a few extra tools to participate, namely, internet access, a digital device, and the skills to use them. Check out how CTN uses Twitter funds to expand digital literacy in San Francisco.
IN THE NEWS…
In its recent article, “Digital Equity Is About More Than Just Access: What Our Next Steps Should Be,” Forbes links to CTN resources on the national broadband gap. The article details the importance of building digital skills to participate in virtual healthcare and other essential services.