DETROIT – The Detroit nonprofit organization Strategic Alliances Community Development is working to close the digital divide among families in underserved communities.
Believe it or not some families are living with access to the World Wide Web. That means, in a way, they’re cut off from countless resources. Kimberly Smith-Anderson knows what’s that’s like.
“It was difficult for me at first, because we didn’t have it,” Smith-Anderson said. “You can’t do schoolwork and homework. You can’t pay bills. You can’t do anything.”
But Jason Dixon and Strategic Alliance Community Development can help.
“People that look like us -- we have to step up to the plate and say we need to have an even playing field in our communities,” Dixon said.
His organization is hoping to level the playing field, as those without access to the internet are limited in a variety of ways.
“If you don’t have broadband, you can’t attract any economic development,” Dixon said. “So that means you still have blight. You still have high crime.”
Kimberly’s kids can remember not being able to work at a time when virtual learning is vital to education.
“It was boring, terrible and bad,” they said.
So far, the Strategic Alliance Community Development has worked with officials in local communities to identify where there’s a need. Thanks to funding from major organizations like Flagstar Bank, the nonprofit has been able to work with reps from tech companies like Nokia to fill the gaps.
“This is the first time in our region that we had an opportunity to bring fiber to the home on a consistent basis,” Dixon said. “The only way you can have upward mobility is to be connected to the internet.”
There will be a Kickoff with New Partnerships even in Inkster, including a training and facility for deployment. It’s something a lot of people will be looking forward to.