Not only does the Urban League fight for economic self-reliance, parity, and civil rights, the National Urban League has also joined the Broadband Opportunity Coalition (BBOC) to help promote digital awareness.
About the BBOC
The Broadband Opportunity Coalition (BBOC) is a partnership between One Economy Corporation, the National Urban League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, Asian American Justice Center, and League of United Latin American Citizens. These organizations have created an unprecedented national partnership committed to broadband adoption. The goal is to create a sustainable information and support ecosystem that will overcome barriers to broadband adoption and leverage technology to produce enhanced socioeconomic outcomes.
The paradox of the Digital Age is that while technology has the capacity to bring people together and connect people to information, it simultaneously presents the threat of deepening the divide between society’s information “haves” and “have nots”, often referred to as the digital divide.
As a nation, we have failed to realize the potential of technology to deliver socioeconomic progress.
“Make It Easy Where You Are”
The BBOC understands that in the Digital Age, individuals, regardless of income, demand information on a 24/7 basis in ways that meet them where they are in terms of time, place, literacy and language.
Our goal is to produce what we call the “social dividend” or value for individuals by way of improved socioeconomic outcomes, such as educational advancement, improved health and employment. Our adoption approach is multi-faceted – it provides an individual with content, training, and affordable connections.
The BBOC will accomplish its goals through the following: We present the following integrated approach to broadband adoption that we would be able to deploy on a much wider scale under BTOP:
Digital Connectors & Human Capital
Access @ Home
Public Service Announcments
Areas to Be Served
Our efforts focus on 350 communities in AL, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MS, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI, WV where we have defined public housing, Digital Connector, and BBOC partners to help us target over 8 million low-income households (below $35,000) in predominantly African-American and Latino communities for broadband subscribership.
Our reach extends nationally though targeted awareness and education efforts. We project 637,500 households and 1,651,000 individuals (2.59 per household) will be connected to broadband from our activities. 800,000 individuals will also receive training.
National Urban League and Digital Connectors
Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders Through Technology Training and Community Service
The Digital Connectors Program was launched by One Economy in 2003 in Washington, D.C. with fifteen young women from Columbia Heights. Today, the program has partners in rural and urban areas across the country. Thousands of Digital Connectors have provided tens of thousands of service hours in communities from New York to San Francisco.
Digital Connectors prepare students for success in the 21st Century workplace through a robust 156-hour Digital Connector's curriculum that includes 12 Core Competency areas, 56 hours of community service per participant, a Cisco I.T. Essentials certificate upon completion and a comprehensive 'train the trainer' professional development approach.
Youth projects have included: developing faith-based computer labs; creating documentaries; training community members on computers and the internet; using digital media to create interactive tutorials; and mapping community assets.
In 2010, the National Urban League and One Economy will bring together Project Ready and Digital Connectors in 16 affiliates under a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grant from the United States Department of Commerce. Working with high-capacity and high-quality partners such as One Economy maximizes the impact of the local Urban League programs in their communities and on the lives of American youth.