KC Coalition for Digital Inclusion

A regional consortium of organizations dedicated to bridging the digital divide

Total members of the Coalition

Attendees at the 2014 KC Digital Inclusion Summit

Resources presented to date in 2016 at Coalition meetings

For several years, an informal group of organizations committed to bridging the digital divide gathered every First Friday at Kansas City, Missouri’s Central Library to strategize and share information around this emerging civic priority. Under the dedicated leadership of KC Public Library’s Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, this group planned and hosted the region’s first Digital Inclusion Summit in Fall 2014.

In the summer of 2015, these organizations formalized their collaboration by collectively establishing the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion with KC Digital Drive as the host organization for the Coalition.

Vision

Every citizen and household in the Kansas City metropolitan area has access to the Internet, the equipment needed to use it and the skills needed to take advantage.

Mission

To facilitate collaboration among organizations and initiatives working to bridge the digital divide in order to maximize the resources for the greatest impact.

What We Do

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of organizations who are concerned with the technology gaps between the haves and the have-nots. Each of us understands that digital tools are increasingly required to be a full participant in our society—to access our economy, our political system, and our shared culture.

While our member organizations have a variety of priorities and methods in bridging the digital divide, we believe there are opportunities together to achieve collective impact. As a Coalition, we believe we can:

  • Provide a bigger platform and a louder voice in elevating the importance of digital inclusion in the civic sphere
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration and reduce redundancy among organizations
  • Offer platforms for metro-wide programming (e.g., the KC Digital Inclusion Summit, a digital literacy awareness campaign, tracking research)
  • Uncover gaps in the region’s digital inclusion work
  • Offer a strong and unified vision that can appeal more broadly to funders
  • Create greater visibility and attention for the digital inclusion work being done in Kansas City

Membership in the Coalition is open to any organization actively working to address the digital divide in Kansas City. Membership requires a designated liaison to the Coalition, a commitment to sharing and openness, and regular participation in the activities of the Coalition. Visit digitalinclusionkc.org/join to join.

The Coalition continues to meet every First Friday at the Central Library. We typically have two presenters, local or remote, to share resources, policy issues, opportunities and ongoing activities related to digital inclusion. Agendas are usually sent in advance, and all Coalition members are welcome. Past presenters include:

  • March 2016: LaunchCode (Kathryn Golden)
  • February 2016: Datawind (Neelima Parasker), Connecting for Good (Tom Esselman)
  • December 2015: Techboomers (Steve Black), AT&T’s Digital You (Madeline Romious)
  • November 2015: Surplus Exchange (Bob Akers), Digital Inclusion Resource App (Jason Harper)
  • October 2015: ConnectHome (Rick Usher, Kelvin Patterson)
  • August 2015: W. E. B. Dubois Learning Center (Dr. Deana Ervin)

Digital Inclusion Zones

Through research funded by the Kauffman Foundation in 2014, we have identified three Digital Inclusion Zones within the great KC metro area. These Zones are groups of census tracts with low connectivity and digital access. While members of the Coalition have diverse missions, programming, and geographic areas of emphasis, the Coalition is especially interested in aligning resources within these areas in a way that is measurable, impactful, and scalable throughout the region.

KCK Tracts
KCMO Tracts

The Founding Committee of the KC Coalition for Digital Inclusion includes:

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