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Digital Inclusion Week will highlight digital inclusion efforts & promote digital equity across the country

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Posted at 5:54 AM, Sep 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-24 11:00:56-04

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) — Can Detroit become a national model for digital inclusion?

Organizers of Detroit Digital Inclusion Week say “yes!” And they’re getting set to launch five days of events, workshops, and panel discussions aimed at getting more Detroiters connected than ever before.

“We have made great strides over the last few years – getting Detroiters tens of thousands of computers, affordable internet access, digital literacy training, and jobs. But there’s much more work to be done,” said Joshua Edmonds, Detroit’s Director of Digital Inclusion. “In the coming months, we’ll begin building a fiber optic internet infrastructure in our city and that’s going to open the door to continued growth and countless new opportunities.”

Digital Inclusion Week is an annual campaign to highlight digital inclusion efforts and promote digital equity across the country. Detroit will be among 56 communities across the nation this October 3-7 marking Digital Inclusion Week with activities and programming designed to celebrate, connect, educate, and activate.

WHY DIGITAL INCLUSION WEEK MATTERS: Thirty percent of Detroiters do not have access to the Internet at home and therefore are unable to find information or access essential resources that have moved online.

With the Internet an increasingly integral part of daily life, lack of digital access means fewer employment options, reduced learning opportunities and little to no access to remote healthcare. Eliminating the digital divide will improve the quality of life for all residents and result in stronger, sustainable communities and a stronger city for all of us.

Events will take place daily from 11am to 4pm in different locations. Below is the schedule of events, location, and the theme for each day.

DAY 1 – Leadership and Policy

· Where: Wayne State University Student Center, 5221 Gullen Mall, Detroit
· What: A keynote panel discussion with Eric Frederick, Michigan’s new chief connectivity officer and Joshua Edmonds, Detroit’s Director of Digital Inclusion, kicks off the week. Also: CEO Action Group; Apple Developer Academy and C313 Community Organizers; and more.

DAY 2 – Academic Research Symposium

· Where: Wayne State University McGregor Conference Center, 495 Gilmour Mall, Detroit
· What: New this year, more than a dozen academic professionals will gather to reflect on the past decade of digital inclusion and highlight modern-day initiatives through presentations, workshops, panels, and roundtables. Speakers will cover numerous topics including digital equity and inclusion, supporting children in the classroom, creating digitally accessible neighborhoods, and more.

DAY 3 – Focus on Small Business

· Where: Ford Resource & Engagement Center, East, 15491 Maddelein St, Detroit, MI
· What: TechTown, Invest Detroit, the Apple Developer Academy and more provide a day learning, growth and opportunity in the digital space.

DAY 4 – Connected Communities

· Where: Ford Resource & Engagement Center, East, 15491 Maddelein St, Detroit, MI
· What: This day features a variety of free digital empowerment workshops for anyone looking to sharpen their digital skills while safely and confidently navigating Internet byways.

DAY 5 – The Future is NOW: Engaging Youth in a Meaningful Way:

· Where: Fisher Magnet Upper School, next to FREC East (15491 Maddelein St., Detroit)
· This day provides ways to attract kids to STEM education, IT careers, and the digital world’s many opportunities.

This is Detroit’s fourth annual event. Connect 313 and Detroit Digital Inclusion Week are supported by the City of Detroit, Microsoft, Rocket Companies, and United Way of Southeast Michigan. All events are free and open to the public.

To register, visit Detroit Digital Inclusion Week 2022 Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite.