City of Bloomington Awards 2020 Digital Equity Grant Funds

(BLOOMINGTON) – The City of Bloomington Information & Technology Services Department (ITS) announces Digital Equity Grants awards to support Bloomington-based nonprofit organization 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 grant recipients, projects to be funded, and amount of the grant are as follows:

  • 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 Digital Equity Grants program sought 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 computer
  • 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.
Mayor John Hamilton

“The breadth of the nonprofits receiving these grants tells an important story about digital gaps in our community,” said Mayor Hamilton.  “Whether students, seniors, or residents experiencing homelessness, many people in Bloomington lack adequate digital access. The City is glad to be able to partner with our community’s nonprofits in this small step toward getting more people connected with a basic twenty-first century utility.” 

The Digital Equity Grants program is funded through a $35,000 investment approved by the Bloomington Common Council 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.

More information can be found at  https://bloomington.in.gov/digital-equity.  Questions or comments should be directed to the City’s Information and Technology Services Director Rick Dietz by email at dietzr@bloomington.in.gov. 

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