The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville launched the Digital Inclusion Fund to support digital inclusion efforts in the City of Huntsville. With seed funding provided by Google Fiber, the fund grants programs supporting high-impact programs that will make internet access and digital education available to those currently without access to those resources.
On February 28, 2018, the Community Foundation, together with the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library and Google Fiber, convened the first Community Conversation to discuss the digital inclusion issue in our community. The meeting was held at the Downtown Huntsville Public Library and brought together over 50 stakeholders, including public officials from Huntsville City Schools, J. F. Drake State Technical College, Alabama A&M and the City of Huntsville. Also participating were nonprofit and civic organizations, including the Heart of the Valley YMCA, United Way of Madison County, Urban Engine, National Children’s Advocacy Center, the Committee of 100, Downtown Rescue Mission, Village of Promise and many others.
The meeting was the first step toward a deeper understanding of what digital inclusion means and what it can look like in our community. The attendees identified groups who are more affected and resources currently available, and created a prioritized list of community goals for digital inclusion, which will drive the efforts of the new Digital Inclusion Fund. View the 2018 Community Conversation Recap.
The diverse group of constituents, which included nonprofit leaders, educators, and other community stakeholders, identified education, job training and economic development as the top three priorities for digital inclusion in our community. View the Digital Inclusion Plan of Action.
“We hope this fund will provide opportunities to help bridge the gap for residents of Huntsville with limited or no access to the online world,” stated Daynise Joseph, Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber. “Digital access and education are critical to helping reduce economic inequality and help residents find education and jobs that can improve their lives.”
We believe that together we can accomplish more than any one individual, company, or organization can do alone. The Digital Inclusion Fund is an opportunity for a public/private partnership that leverages funds to collaboratively connect with the projects and initiatives that strategically close the digital divide.
Each year following the Digital Inclusion Fund's launch, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville has awarded high-impact grants to nonprofit organizations in greater Huntsville to support and enhance digital access for underserved residents.
On April 22, 2021, the Community Foundation hosted a second Community Conversation to discuss digital inclusion in our community. Over 25 participants including local educators and leaders from the nonprofit and business community, gathered virtually to discuss gaps and barriers for digital service and opportunities and identify priorities for these efforts.