Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the City of Bloomington. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.
UPDATE: The Digital Equity Grants have been awarded to the following recipients for these projects:
- Area 10 Agency on Aging, Creating Digital Literacy Opportunities and Tackling Social Isolation in the World of COVID, $9,400
- Artisan Alley, Wifi Mill, $3,000
- Farmer House Museum/Tech Heroes, Bloomington Stories, $7,300
- Hotels4Homelessness/New Leaf New Life, Access to Technology for Families Experiencing Homelessness, $3,300
- Monroe County Community School Corporation, MCCSC Mobile Classroom WIFI Access, $1,500
- Monroe County Public Library, Circulating iPads and Wireless Hotspots at MCPL, $10,500
The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department (ITS) invites Bloomington-based nonprofit organizations to apply for Digital Equity Grants to support their efforts to bridge the digital divide and increase digital resources for residents. The grants are funded through Mayor John Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative to help Bloomington recover from the pandemic and economic collapse and advance racial, economic, and climate justice.
The Digital Equity Grants program is accepting proposals from nonprofits for projects that build capacity in the community to address digital equity challenges, in the following ways:
- Facilitate access to broadband services.
- Increase access to effective computing devices to effectively use the internet.
- Cultivate the knowledge, familiarity and digital skills needed to secure the benefits of the internet and computers.
- Convey skills for using the internet safely, securely, and confidently to engage in digital life.
- Mitigate community digital equity gaps identified in the City’s digital equity survey, the results of which are available here.
“All of our households need fair and appropriate digital access. This year’s COVID crisis has re-emphasized that for every family,” says Mayor Hamilton. “Our recently conducted digital equity survey exposed some very real gaps and concerns, and in partnership with our community’s nonprofits, we will work actively to improve fair digital access for all in our community.”
The Digital Equity Grants program is funded through a $35,000 investment approved by the Bloomington Common Council on August 12 as part of a $2 million reallocation of 2019 reversion funds, in the first of Mayor Hamilton’s multi-phase Recover Forward strategy to help the community rebound and thrive in the face of concurrent crises.
Organizations interested in submitting proposals for 2020 Digital Equity Grant funds should submit an application by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, in order to be considered for funding.
An informational meeting about the Digital Equity application process will be held on Wednesday, November 18, at 10 a.m.via Zoom here.