We build awareness of and work to close the digital divide by advocating for paradigm-shifting policies and convening cross-sectoral leaders to increase investments into innovative solutions.
For the creation and passage of legislation on digital inclusion
A digital inclusion-focused coalition of philanthropic stakeholders
Programs that surface innovative connectivity technologies
Best-in-field initiatives working to eliminate the digital divide
Digital Equity Pooled Fund
Digital Equity in Tribal Communities
Digital inequity continues to perpetuate intergenerational poverty among poor communities of color by disenfranchising them, limiting their access to health care and education, and stifling economic opportunity and growth. Black and Latino students are 30% to 40% more likely to have limited access to the internet, while 68% of Americans living on rural tribal lands don’t have access to broadband. On September 23rd, our program featured extraordinary digital equity leaders who explored the intersectionality of the digital divide and the racism entrenched in this issue.
Digital Divide: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
This program focused on building a foundation for in-depth understanding of national, state and local contexts and precedents in digital (in)equity, and introducing attendees to ongoing initiatives combatting the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on our country and society.
Philanthropy Post-COVID: Where Do We Go From Here?
This program spotlighted philanthropic leaders and the digital equity investments they’ve made pre- and post-pandemic. Grantmakers, public-private liaisons, and venture investors shared best practices, lessons learned, and ways to build back better beyond COVID-19.
Stronger Together: The Role of Cross-Sector Partnerships in Digital Equity
This event focused on deepening our understanding of how effective public-private partnerships can be designed and implemented, specifically at the local and regional levels. Subject matter experts shared case studies of proven models and solutions implemented both in-state and around the country.
Build Back Better: Digital Equity in the Biden-Harris Administration
Following President Biden’s pledge to make digital equity a cornerstone of his administration, our panel will share their insights on the government’s approach to technology policy, and how the Biden-Harris administration can lead on one of the most potentially transformative economic development investments of the century.
The Power of Connectivity: How Internet Innovators are Closing the Digital Divide
This event spotlighted a panel of bold, pragmatic experts who shared their work and learnings from building solutions that can close the divide for all students, educators, and families.
Digital Equity in the California Legislation: The Golden State’s Historic Opportunity
In Sacramento, tackling the digital divide has received top billing among pundits and decision makers. Oftentimes inaccessible, the conversation usually remains within the confines of the Capitol. This program, which featured California policymakers, shifted the paradigm.
California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge
Closing the Digital Divide Once and For All
Led by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, and the California Department of Education in partnership with Michelson 20MM Foundation, General Motors, Genentech, and other organizations, the California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge seeks to identify and develop technology that will make affordable broadband internet access universally accessible across the state, without exception.
Education Trust West
Conducted a student poll that reached a representative sample of California students enrolled at community colleges and four-year public and private institutions. Students were asked about resources and support they’re receiving from their institutions and their perceptions of the effectiveness of their institution’s strategies.
Created a digital map that illustrates the higher education system’s response, including gaps in digital access and implementation of distance learning. The map will be used to provide a view of outcomes (impact of school closures on high school graduation rates and UC/CSU enrollment) and will be organized by schools, community college districts, and higher education institutions.
Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD)
Funding Human I-T
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelson 20MM teamed up with the Foundation for L.A. Community Colleges and other funders to assist LACCD students who were forced to transition to remote learning mid-term. The partnership provided 20,000 students with access to Chromebooks, internet hotspots, low-cost home internet connections, and digital literacy workshops.
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Fill out the form to get a FREE digital copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Broadband and the Digital Divide,” a resource that provides an overview of broadband technologies, key terms and data to aid discussions on solving the digital divide.
Glossary of Terms
|Internet||Global computer network providing information and communication facilities|
|Broadband||An umbrella term for a kind of internet access that is always on and fast|
Types of Internet Technology
|Dial-up||Provides internet, but not fast enough to qualify as broadband|
|Broadband over Power Lines (BPL)||Sends data over unshielded power lines. While physically possible, not a stable way to get content. Typically provides speeds slower than satellite|
Sends data wirelessly to receivers. Easily disrupted by weather.
Average download speeds 500 Kbps, upload speeds 80 Kbps
|Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)||
Sends data over traditional copper telephone lines.
Typical speeds range from several hundred Kbps to Mbps
Fixed wireless sends data over radio links, with a fixed receiver endpoint.
Typical speeds are comparable to DSL or cable
|Cable||Sends data using the same coaxial cables as TV. Typical speeds of 1.5 Mbps or more|
|Fiber||Sends data over optic cables. Typical speeds are tens or even hundreds of Mbps faster than DSL & cable|