NORTH CONWAY, N.H.—Digitunity, a national non-profit organization that connects low-income people with the computer donations they need, has announced that Avid Products has signed The Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide as a Cornerstone Partner.
Digitunity reports that more than 36 million people in the United States lack access to basic technology most people take for granted, including reliable internet access, a computer, and the skills to use digitally connected devices. The problem disproportionately affects communities of color but persists across all boundaries from coast to coast.
This disparity between resourced and under-resourced communities is known as the "digital divide." Digitunity and community partners have worked to end the digital divide by placing hundreds of thousands of computers with people in need. Providing that technology is essential for helping people to succeed in school, participate in the economy, and improve their communities.
"We are thrilled to have an organization like Avid, with its foresight, social consciousness, and national reach, join us in our mission to close the digital divide," said Scot Henley, executive director of Digitunity. "With Avid as a partner, we will be able to elevate the issue, accelerate our efforts, and help more families."
Over the next two years, Avid Products will also be offering audio products to Digitunity's Digital Opportunity Network members at a substantial discount from the list price.
"Providing opportunities for all to have the essential tools they need for their learning and life journey is core to our mission," said Tom Finn, CEO and employee co-owner of Avid Products. "We are honored to be a Cornerstone Partner with Digitunity to address with speed and scale the urgent need to close the digital divide. In addition to providing critically needed devices, we will amplify advocacy so others may be inspired to join this quest and expand its impact."
"The number-one predictor of economic success used to be a high school diploma. Now, it's having access to technological tools and the skills to use them," added Susan Krautbauer, senior director of strategy and development at digitunity.
Hoping to increase access to these technologies is a major reason why Digitunity launched the Corporate Pledge to End the Digital Divide.
The four pillars of Digitunity's pledge are:
- Access to Technology - People must have access to secure, reliable, and connected large-screen devices to work, learn, and develop the skills they need.
- Digital Skills & Education - Digital literacy is fundamental to education, finance, employment, telehealth, communication, security, community, and efficiency.
- Community Engagement & Impact - Those in need benefit most from engaged people and organizations in their communities. Those systems need to enable and sustain impact.
- Achieving Change - There is a direct line from racial inequity to poverty, and poverty to the digital divide. The corporate sector is a critical partner in developing innovative solutions that can benefit marginalized communities while having broad societal beneﬁts.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.